Gryphon Sells Zicam to Church & Dwight

Gryphon Investors has sold Matrixx Initiatives, an over-the-counter cold medicine company, to publicly traded Church & Dwight. Gryphon acquired Matrixx Initiatives in December 2017.

Matrixx makes and markets over-the-counter remedies, including the Zicam brand of nasal sprays and swabs; allergy, congestion, and sinus relief products; and medicated lozenges and fruit drops. The company is led by CEO Marc Rovner and is based near New York City in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

“Our team has had tremendous success based on Gryphon’s investment thesis, growing Zicam’s share of the cough and cold category in a short amount of time and achieving our growth objectives on an accelerated timeline,” said Mr. Rovner. “This growth wouldn’t have been possible without the support of a sponsor like Gryphon, who brought differentiated experience and expertise in the consumer health sector to our board of directors.”

“We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this transaction, our second investment in the consumer health sector in partnership with industry executive Steve LaMonte and Dr. John Clayton,” said Keith Stimson, a partner at Gryphon. In 2014, Gryphon partnered with Mr. LaMonte and Dr. Clayton to acquire C.B. Fleet Company, a Virginia-based personal healthcare and over-the-counter medical products company, which was sold to Prestige Brands (NYSE: PBH) in December 2016.

“Under Gryphon’s ownership, we have instituted numerous strategic and operational enhancements to create value,” said Mr. LaMonte. “Foremost among those is the appointment of Marc Rovner as CEO. Marc has assembled a terrific management team and helped the company accelerate its value creation initiatives, including new product innovation, growth with our retail partners, and aggressive efforts to build out e-commerce channels through investments in digital marketing and social influencer programs.”

Church & Dwight (NYSE: CHD) is a producer and marketer of personal care, household and specialty products under the Arm & Hammer, Orajel, Nair, First Response, OxiClean, Water Pik, and Brillo brand names. The company was founded in 1847 and had $4.4 billion of revenue in 2019. The company is based near Philadelphia in Ewing, New Jersey.

“Matrixx is a great case study for Gryphon’s proactive sector initiative to identify and invest behind leading brands and experienced executives in consumer health. This category will continue to be a focus area for us in the future,” said Ryan Fagan, a senior vice president at Gryphon.

San Francisco-based Gryphon makes leveraged acquisitions and growth investments in middle-market companies. The firm invests from $50 million to $300 million of capital in companies with enterprise values ranging from $100 million to $600 million. Sectors of interest include business services, consumer products and services, healthcare, industrial growth, and software. In July 2019, the firm held a final closing of Gryphon Partners V LP at its hard cap of $2.1 billion. The new fund was oversubscribed and exceeded its original target of $1.5 billion.

Sawaya Partners was the financial advisor to Gryphon and Kirkland & Ellis provided legal services.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | December 2, 2020

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