Gryphon Investors (“Gryphon”), a San Francisco-based private equity firm, announced today that it has agreed to sell its portfolio company C.B. Fleet Company, Inc. (“Fleet” or “the Company”) to Prestige Brands in a transaction valued at approximately $825 million. Gryphon, along with several institutional co-investors and management, originally invested in the Company in October 2014. This sale to Prestige Brands is subject to customary regulatory and other approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.
Fleet, founded in 1869 and headquartered in Lynchburg, VA, is a market leader in the Personal Healthcare and over-the-counter (“OTC”) industry with such well-known product lines as Summer’s Eve®, FLEET®, Pedia-Lax®, Phazyme®, and Boudreaux’s®. The Company has a presence in North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.
R. David Andrews, CEO and Managing General Partner at Gryphon, said, “Our investment in Fleet is a great example of Gryphon’s powerful synergistic model of combining deal and in-house operations professionals in target identification, underwriting, execution, and ultimately the achievement of a strong investment return. At the time of our acquisition in 2014, our focused approach allowed us to prevail in a very competitive auction in which we had support from numerous limited partner co-investors who ultimately allowed us to acquire an asset of high quality and scale.”
Dennis O’Brien, Gryphon Partner and the Head of its Operations Resources Group, said, “We have achieved our original vision for Fleet and created a valuable strategic asset by substantially increasing revenue and profitability through focused business building efforts and brand revitalization led by our strong management team and Chairman Steve LaMonte.”
Mr. LaMonte added, “Since Gryphon’s ownership, we have instituted numerous strategic and operational enhancements to create value. Key initiatives included: implementation of an aggressive strategic plan to accelerate profitable growth; recruitment of a top-tier management team; investments to build out a robust innovation pipeline; initiation of supply chain efficiencies to fund growth; and a dramatic improvement in Fleet’s go-to-market sales and marketing efforts to fully leverage our brand assets across the globe.”
Keith Stimson, the Head of Gryphon’s Consumer Group, noted, “We are extremely happy with the outcome of this transaction, which was the result of our Group’s multi-year focus on the Personal Healthcare and OTC space. We achieved our goal of reaching agreement on a sale that positions Fleet for continued success, while also generating attractive returns for us, our co-investors, and our Limited Partners.”
Sawaya Segalas & Co., LLC acted as a financial advisor to Fleet and Gryphon, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as Gryphon’s counsel on the transaction.
About Gryphon Investors
Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors is a leading private equity firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. With over $2.5 billion of cumulative equity commitments, the firm has an extensive track record of leading equity investments of approximately $50 million to $150 million per portfolio company with sales ranging from approximately $50 million to $500 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form proactive partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources, and operational expertise.
About C.B. Fleet Company, Inc.
C.B. Fleet Company, Inc. (www.cbfleet.com) is a consumer healthcare manufacturer and marketer of personal care and over-the-counter products in the feminine hygiene, gastrointestinal, and infant care categories. Founded in 1869 by Charles Browne Fleet and based in Lynchburg, VA, Fleet started out as a small pharmacy providing novel, easy-to-use personal health and beauty merchandise. Today, Fleet is a global provider of more than 100 personal health and beauty products. The Company’s product lines include Summer’s Eve® feminine hygiene products, the Fleet® disposable enema, Pedia-Lax® laxatives for children, Phazyme® anti-gas medication, and the Boudreaux’s® brand of baby products.