Gryphon Investors, a middle-market private equity firm, announced Dec. 15 that it has reached a deal on the sale of its portfolio company Heritage Distribution Holdings — a global distributor of commercial and industrial refrigeration and air conditioning products.
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In a news release, San Francisco-based Gryphon shared that the buyer is Sweden-based Beijer Ref AB, a global wholesaler of refrigeration and cooling products with some 70 subsidiaries. The deal is expected to close in early 1Q 2023, subject to closing conditions.
Trade publication Cooling Post reported that the deal is worth $1.275 billion.
Gryphon first invested in Atlanta-based Heritage in July of 2021 and has since completed five add-on acquisitions for the company under its ownership. The most recent was this past October with the addition of Knoxville, Tennessee-based Coastal Supply Company.
Heritage Distribution Holdings is a multi-regional HVACR parts and equipment distributor serving the U.S. southeast and midwest. It was formed from the merger of Wittichen Supply (founded 1914), Benoist Brothers Supply (founded 1928), Ed’s Supply (founded 1957) and Coastal Supply Company (founded 1978). Today, the company’s footprint includes 64 branches across 10 states.
“Heritage Distribution Holdings has a bright future ahead and we are confident that Beijer Ref is the ideal home for the Company,” Grphyon Managing Director Tim Bradley said in a news release. “It was important to Gryphon to steward the legacy behind each of HDH’s underlying brands, which we are confident will continue given Beijer Ref’s emphasis on entrepreneurial culture and local decision-making.”
Baird acted as lead financial advisor to Gryphon, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as Gryphon’s legal counsel.
For Beijer Ref, the deal marks the distributor’s first entry into the North American market. Cooling Post quoted company CEO Christopher Norbye describing the market’s shift toward electrification and energy efficiency, accelerated by regulatory changes and the growing recognition of indoor air quality and environmental impacts.
“The North American market is highly-fragmented and Heritage Distribution offers an excellent platform from which we can continue to drive consolidation,” Norbye said. “With our collective industry awareness and proficiency, there are many significant and valuable synergies to be unlocked.”