Borgman Buys Gilman Cheese

Borgman Buys Gilman Cheese

Borgman Capital has acquired Gilman Cheese, a manufacturer of premium processed cheese, from Tom and Char Hand.

Gilman Cheese produces and packages shelf-stable processed cheese for the gift pack, retail, and airline sectors and also produces natural and processed smoke cheeses. The company has 140 employees and a 50,000 square foot facility that produces 1.6 million pounds of processed cheese per month through more than 450 different products. Gilman Cheese is headquartered in the northern Wisconsin city of Gilman (

Gilman Cheese was founded in 1948 as Drangle Foods and acquired by Tom and Char Hand in January 2000. The company changed its name to Gilman Cheese in 2010.

“Tom and Char Hand built a wonderful company and we are honored that they chose us to be the stewards of their business, their employees, and the Gilman community,” said Sequoya Borgman, founder and managing director of Borgman Capital.

Borgman Capital seeks to acquire companies with revenues of $5 million to $75 million and EBITDA from $500,000 to $10 million. The firm invests across a wide range of industries and prefers to invest in companies located in the Central and Eastern United States. Borgman Capital is an independent sponsor with funding for acquisitions coming from personal equity, accredited investors, and family offices. The firm is led by its managing directors Sequoya Borgman, David Bartelme and Michael Pepke and is headquartered in Milwaukee (

Tom Hand remains as the President of Gilman Cheese and rolled over a material equity stake in the company in partnership with Borgman Capital. “Char and I interviewed many firms. We were impressed by Borgman’s knowledge and enthusiasm, but what struck us most was their kindness. Immediately after meeting Sequoya and David, we felt they were the type of people we wanted for a partner. Char and I knew they would be good stewards of our company and employees. We feel the future is bright for Gilman Cheese.”

To close this acquisition, Borgman Capital partnered with Midwest Growth Partners (equity), Tecum Capital (mezzanine debt and equity), and Johnson Financial Group (senior debt).

The acquisition of Gilman Cheese is Borgman Capital’s largest acquisition since its founding in October 2017.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | March 6, 2019

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