SAN FRANCISCO – Gryphon Investors, a mid-sized private equity firm, announced on Monday that it has acquired Wittichen Supply Company, a wholesale distributor providing equipment, parts, supplies and customers for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC / R). serving residential and commercial customers in the Southeastern United States. This is the second investment to be closed by Gryphon’s Heritage Fund, a new small-cap fund offering launched by Gryphon in 2020. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1914 and headquartered in Birmingham, AL, Wittichen provides parts, supplies and customer service, distributing products from over 500 major manufacturers of HVAC / R systems. With 25 locations, the company is the industry leader in Alabama and has a growing presence in the Florida panhandle as well as western Georgia. With a loyal technical customer base, the company has long-standing relationships with leading manufacturers and suppliers of HVAC / R systems, including Rheem, Chemours, Fujitsu, Nu-Calgon, and Emerson Climate Technologies.
Keith Stimson, Deal Partner and Head of the Heritage Fund Team at Gryphon, said: “Our investment in Wittichen is a testament to Gryphon’s Heritage Fund strategy, which leverages Gryphon’s industry initiative strategy and focuses on the partnership with market leaders with lasting differentiation. make future investments to develop a strong platform across the Sun Belt. “
Managing Director Charles Herring, who has worked at Wittichen for 48 years, will become chairman of the company and will continue to work closely with the existing management team. Gryphon has also appointed several executive advisers to the company’s board of directors with extensive experience in the manufacturing and industrial distribution of OEM HVAC / R.
Craig Nikrant, Gryphon’s operational partner in the Heritage Fund team, said: “Wittichen is a century-old brand with a strong culture and an exceptionally loyal customer base and employees. We look forward to collaborating and supporting the Wittichen leadership team in their next phase of growth by leveraging Gryphon’s internal operational resource group and human capital team to enable further investment in its business and its operations. employees. “
Mr. Herring commented, “We are delighted to welcome and collaborate with the Gryphon team as we build on our recent growth and look to the future. continue in a post COVID-19 environment resulting in an increased need for safe and high quality air filtration. We look forward to serving our existing and new clients with the same excellent team, supported by the additional resources provided by our new partner. “
David Henderson, Past President of Wittichen, added: “My goal is to leave the company, our employees, our customers and our suppliers in good hands, and I am confident that we have found the best partner in Gryphon. Our business was built on providing top-notch customer service and experience and that won’t change. Gryphon’s financial resources and operational know-how will be invaluable as Wittichen builds on its geographic expansion and continues to seek out the most innovative ways to serve our loyal customers.
Gryphon was advised by legal counsel Kirkland & Ellis and financial adviser Lincoln International. Uplift Partners has been the exclusive financial advisor to Wittichen Supply Company and Maynard Cooper Gale has been the legal advisor.