Gridiron Capital Closes Fifth Fund Above Target at $2.1 Billion
Gridiron Continues to Invest in its Team, Processes, Technology, and Capabilities to Drive the Firm’s Strategy and Be The Partner of Choice for Business Owners and Management Teams
NEW CANAAN, CT, October 18, 2023 – Gridiron Capital, LLC (“Gridiron Capital” or the “firm”), an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams, is pleased to announce the closing of Gridiron Capital Fund V and its affiliated funds (“Gridiron V”) at $2.1 billion, which exceeded its target of $1.8 billion and represents an increase in fund size of 56% over the prior fund, Gridiron IV. Gridiron V is the largest flagship fund in the firm’s history, with a broad base of distinguished returning and new investors, including pension funds, insurance companies, family offices, endowments, and foundations located across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
“Following another successful fundraise, we cannot be more appreciative of our investors’ continued confidence and unwavering support. Despite a challenging fundraising environment, many of our existing Limited Partners chose to not only re-invest but also increase their commitments in Gridiron V,” said Tom Burger, Co-Founder and Managing Partner. “At Gridiron, we cultivate a team culture of respect, getting better every day, and ‘Winning Together.’ We strive to provide superior returns for our portfolio company partnerships, our investors, and most importantly, our investors’ underlying constituents, including retirees, teachers, hospitals, and students, among many others.”
Consistent with the Firm’s investment approach in prior funds, Gridiron V will target control, equity investments in North America that are specifically focused on partnering with industry leaders within branded consumer, B2B and B2C services, and niche industrial businesses with total enterprise values between $150 and $600+ million. The firm takes a thematic approach to investing, known as Gridiron’s Thematic Areas of Expertise™, by identifying target areas early where the firm has expertise and utilizing repeatable processes to prioritize, screen, and build proactive partnerships with strong companies. This coordinated approach allows Gridiron to develop relationships early and pursue leading companies in highly attractive sectors, creating a growing, long-term funnel of direct investment opportunities and a deep understanding of each industry. Leveraging this disciplined and consistent investment strategy, Gridiron V is approximately 40% deployed across four platform companies and 16 add-on investments for these companies. Since the firm’s inception in 2005, Gridiron has invested in over 185 companies, including 36 platform companies.
Kevin Jackson, Managing Partner at Gridiron Capital, stated, “Our success is built upon outstanding people and leaders. We are grateful for the talented and dedicated team at Gridiron and we are proud of the performance of our portfolio company partnerships. Gridiron has developed repeatable processes and enhanced internal capabilities to prepare our portfolio companies for accelerated growth while protecting against a diverse range of economic headwinds. We enter Fund V with a dynamic group of companies poised for growth and we’re excited to continue executing our investment strategy to create further value for our loyal limited partners.”
“Gridiron’s investment in its team, operational capabilities, technology, and processes has served us well in our evolution as a firm,” Jackson added.
As former entrepreneurs, investors, and business operators, Gridiron’s senior management and broader investment team have created a culture and investment approach based on their lived understanding of the challenges and operational skills needed in building and running successful businesses. In conjunction with the extended Gridiron team, including Operating Partners and Board of Business Executives, the firm leverages the Gridiron Playbook and its twelve functional Centers of Excellence to instill best practices and form repeatable processes that create long-term value for the firm’s portfolio companies.
Gridiron Capital’s fund formation counsel was Ropes & Gray LLP.
About Gridiron Capital
Gridiron Capital is an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams, and creating value by building middle-market companies into industry-leaders in branded consumer, B2B and B2C services, and niche industrial segments in the United States and Canada. We help transform growing companies by winning together through hard work, partnerships grounded in shared values and a unique culture that comes from hands-on experience building and running businesses. As a team led by former operators and entrepreneurs, we know what it takes to run successful businesses on a day-to-day basis. Additional information is available on the firm’s website: www.gridironcapital.com.
Gridiron Capital Media Contact:
Jon Keehner/Erik Carlson
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher