Gryphon closes Fund 3.5 with $365M after stepping up deals

Firm: Gryphon Investors

Fund:  Gryphon Partners 3.5 LP

Original target: $250 mln

Amount raised: $365 mln

The firm returned more than half the total capital it ever invested in the 10-month period ending in May, a source said. The firm reports $900 million of AUM on its website, not counting its latest fund.

Gryphon Capital Management, founded in 1995 and led by R. David Andrews, raised the target for Gryphon Partners 3.5 LP to $450 million, but then scaled it back and closed the fund above its original target of $250 million, according to a person familiar with the firm.

The firm officially kicked off fundraising for Gryphon 3.5 LP in March, but it had already filed a Form D in 2011 with the 3.5 figure in order to create a warehouse structure to buy K&N Engineering, a maker of automotive filters, the person said.  

Gryphon decided to take the unusual move of raising a fund that was half the size of the prior one to save time and focus on deal-making  –  thus Gryphon Partners 3.5, rather than Gryphon IV.

Gryphon Partners III raised $515 million in 2006. The firm put off its major fundraising efforts after that as it sorted through a tougher fundraising effort and fewer deal prospects in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

The second source familiar with the firm said Gryphon appeared to be a “near zombie” for a while, but managed to reverse its fortunes based partly on its work on the operations front.

The firm’s deal-making picked up steam in June, 2012 with the $500 million sale of Intelligrated, a provider of automated material handling equipment and technology such as conveyor systems, to Permira.

At the time of the deal, Intelligrated ranked as a “significant competitor” in the North American market in the space, after Gryphon bought North American assets of FKI Logistex from Melrose Plc in 2009, according to a statement from the firm.

In March, Gryphon sold TrustHouse Services Group to Paris-based Elior SCA, for an undisclosed sum.

Also in March, Gryphon completed its acquisition of Harrison Clinical Research, a move that aimed to double revenue at its contract research organization firm, Synteract. The firm combined the two companies to create SynteractHCR, a $100 million revenue company positioned to offer global trials to customers in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device sectors.

A spokesperson for Gryphon declined to comment.