New Investment Focuses on Water and Wastewater Treatment Systems
San Francisco, CA – November 16, 2020 —
Gryphon Investors (“Gryphon”), a San Francisco-based middle-market private equity firm, announced today that it has acquired Vessco Holdings (“Vessco” or “the Company”), in partnership with Vessco’s management team, from O2 Investment Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Vessco has been serving Upper Midwest and Northeast industrial and municipal customers for over 35 years. Vessco is a value-added distributor of process, flow control, pumps, and automation equipment and services to water and wastewater treatment utilities and industrial users. The Company offers a comprehensive product portfolio and provides value–added design, engineering support, and aftermarket parts and services.
Vessco Holdings’ management team, led by CEO Brian DeWolf, will continue to manage the business, and senior management will remain significant owners of the Company. Longtime industry executive Jim McGivern will become Executive Chairman of the Company. A seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience in the water, wastewater, and utility sectors, Mr. McGivern was previously the COO of American Water, CEO of Elster Group and CEO of Sigma Corporation.
“Vessco operates at the nexus of Gryphon’s experience with infrastructure and utility products and value-added distribution businesses. We are very pleased to partner with Brian, a highly talented and visionary leader, and the other members of the management team. Vessco is poised for rapid growth as it capitalizes on its track record, reputation, and know-how to serve its customers,” said Leigh Abramson, Deal Partner and Head of the Industrial Growth Group at Gryphon.
Mr. DeWolf said, “We are delighted to be working with Gryphon through the next stage of our growth. Not only is Gryphon the right cultural fit, but the firm has a history of showing strong support for managers by providing operational and financial resources for both organic growth and acquisitions. We have been impressed with Gryphon’s solid knowledge of our industry and their insightful assessment of how to create efficient, sustainable, and competitive water treatment systems.”
Wes Lucas, the Operating Partner to Gryphon’s Industrial Growth Group, added, “Water and wastewater treatment is a critical part of modern human life, and the industry will continue to experience attractive growth tailwinds from population growth, increasing regulation, and the need to replace aging infrastructure. We look forward to supporting Vessco management during its next phase of growth by leveraging Gryphon’s in-house Operations Resources Group and Human Capital Group to facilitate further investment in the business and its employees.”
Felix Park, Principal at Gryphon, added, “Vessco has built a culture that combines entrepreneurial spirit and local market expertise with a commitment towards OEM suppliers and customers. Given its leading position within a large and growing addressable market, the Company is well-situated for long-term expansion into additional products and services as well as new geographies. In addition to organic growth, we will be focused on acquisitions as an important component of the go-forward growth strategy.”
Gryphon was advised by legal counsel Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and financial advisor Raymond James. Honigman LLP was legal advisor to O2 Investment Partners, and William Blair & Co. was O2’s financial advisor. Vessco management was represented by attorney Peter W. Klein, P.A., of Boca Raton, FL.
About Vessco Holdings
Vessco (www.vesscoholdings.com) Vessco is one of the largest equipment distributors and systems integrators of water and wastewater treatment technology in the United States. Vessco offers its customers an exceptional breadth of products and services with its line card of valued vendors. Vessco provides its products and services in over 18 states throughout the Central U.S., Midwest, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions.
About Gryphon Investors
Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors is a leading private equity firm focused on growing and enhancing mid-market companies in partnership with management. The firm has managed over $5 billion of equity investments and capital since 1997. Gryphon targets making equity investments of $100 million to $300 million in portfolio companies with sales ranging from approximately $100 million to $600 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form strong partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources, and operational expertise. For more information, visit www.gryphoninvestors.com.
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