Gridiron Capital Closes Second Fund with $425M

Gridiron Capital, a middle-market private equity firm, has closed its second fund, Gridiron Capital Fund II, L.P., with $425 million in commitments. The firm will focus on buying controlling stakes in middle-market manufacturing, service, and specialty consumer companies in the United States and Canada. The newest fund exceeded a target of $400 million, the firm said in a statement. Gridiron is based in New Canaan, Conn.


Gridiron Capital, LLC (“Gridiron”), a middle market private equity firm, has announced the successful closing of its second fund, Gridiron Capital Fund II, LP (“GCF II”) with $425 million in total capital commitments.  Gridiron plans to acquire controlling interests in middle-market manufacturing, service, and specialty consumer companies in the United States and Canada.  With an original capital raising target of $400 million, the fund was well received by investors and accepted subscriptions up to its cap of $425 million.  Gridiron leverages the experience of its principals’ past family business ownership, their hands on operations backgrounds, and their partnership approach with management teams to help transform and grow the businesses it invests in, all of which results in an exceptional investment track record.  GCF II successfully raised capital in Europe, North America and Asia with a cross section of leading limited partners, including endowments and foundations, insurance companies, public and private pension funds, fund of funds and high net worth individuals.


“We are pleased with the successful completion of our fundraising effort in this difficult market environment,” said Thomas A. Burger, Jr, a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the firm.  “Investors responded positively to our track record of accessing attractive direct deal flow, our ability to create value and build business over a medium- to long-term time horizon, and to Gridiron’s ability to realize strong investment returns for our limited partners.”


“Our industry expertise and corporate relationships have enabled us to directly source targeted, high quality deal flow and work collaboratively with not only corporate spinoffs but with owner operators and family run businesses ” added Eugene Conese, Jr., Co-Founder and Managing Partner.  “We are excited to continue working with talented management teams and leveraging our operating capabilities to deliver improved business performance and strong returns for investors.”


GCF II has made three platform investments since its formation: Apex Engineering International LLC, which is a fully integrated producer of aircraft parts, assemblies and components specializing in rapid development programs and complex, high value-added tasks; H.M. Dunn, which is a leading manufacturer of precision machined structural components and complex assemblies for the military and commercial aerospace industry, and; Quality Solutions, Inc., a manager of facilities services for multi-site retail and food service operators.  In addition, Gridiron has completed an add-on acquisitions for H.M. Dunn to further strengthen the companies capabilities with key aerospace OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers.


Commencing in the first quarter of 2011, NovaFund Advisors, a division of its broker dealer du Pasquier & Co., Inc., assisted with the GCF II capital raise.  NovaFund Advisors, based in Darien, Connecticut, is an independent private equity placement and advisory firm founded in 2004 which provides distribution in North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.  Ropes & Gray LLP acted as GCF II’s legal counsel.


About Gridiron Capital

Gridiron Capital, LLC, headquartered in New Canaan, Connecticut, is a private equity firm focused on creating value by acquiring and building middle-market manufacturing, service and specialty consumer companies in the United States and Canada.  The firm’s principals employ a combination of strategic, operating, and financial experience to provide portfolio companies with competitive advantages.  Gridiron’s principals work closely with management teams to develop strategies for portfolio companies, as well as providing resources to execute business plans and build industry leading companies.


Gridiron Capital seeks control equity investments in manufacturing, service, and specialty consumer businesses with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $5 million to $30 million.