Gridiron Acquires Vistage from Providence

Gridiron Acquires Vistage from Providence

Providence acquired Vistage from Education Growth Partners and TowerBrook Capital Partners in January 2018

Vistage uses a subscription-based membership model to provide CEO coaching and peer advisory services to small and midsize businesses

SOURCE: Getty Images

Gridiron Capital has acquired Vistage Worldwide, a provider of CEO coaching and peer advisory services, from Providence Equity Partners.

Vistage, utilizing a subscription-based membership model, is the world’s largest CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for small and midsize businesses. The company provides its advisory services in person and online through confidential peer groups and one-to-one executive coaching sessions.

Source: Vistage Worldwide

Vistage has more than 27,000 members located in 26 countries. The company was founded in 1957 and is based in San Diego, California.

“We are pleased with the growth Vistage has experienced in partnership with Providence Equity Partners,” said Sam Reese, the CEO of Vistage. “SMB leaders today are facing greater challenges than ever before, and we look forward to working with Gridiron Capital to expand our reach and serve the growing needs of more CEOs around the world, helping them become better leaders, make better decisions, and deliver better results.”

“Gridiron Capital has relevant experience and a track record of success investing in professional training and human capital management businesses, two of the firm’s thematic areas of expertise. Our unique perspective will enable Gridiron to support and accelerate the company’s growth trajectory across the globe,” said Will Hausberg, a senior managing director of Gridiron.

“Gridiron is managed by partners who grew up working in and leading family-owned businesses, so we have a unique appreciation for the value that Vistage provides to CEOs and executives,” said Tom Burger, the co-founder and managing partner of Gridiron. “We look forward to partnering with this exceptional management team and leveraging our firm’s Centers of Excellence to maximize the company’s potential and reach.”

Providence acquired Vistage from Education Growth Partners and TowerBrook Capital Partners in January 2018.

“We thank Vistage for a successful partnership over the past four years and are pleased to have supported the company in advancing its mission, growing its membership and enhancing the value of its programs for global CEOs and business leaders,” said David Phillips, a senior managing director at Providence. “We are confident that Vistage will continue to thrive under Gridiron’s ownership and wish Sam Reese and the entire team continued momentum and success as the company enters this next chapter.”

Providence invests in the media, entertainment, communications and information industries and has approximately $54 billion of capital under management. The firm was founded in 1989 and is based in Providence, Rhode Island with additional offices in New York, London, Boston and Atlanta.

Gridiron invests in manufacturing, service, and specialty consumer companies with enterprise values from $75 million to $600 million and EBITDA from $10 million to $60 million. Sectors of interest include branded consumer, business-to-business and business-to-consumer services, and niche industrial. In December 2020, New Canaan, Connecticut-based Gridiron held a hard-cap and oversubscribed closing of its largest fund, Gridiron Capital Fund IV LP, with $1.35 billion of capital.

Macquarie Capital was the financial advisor to Providence Equity and Vistage, and Truist Securities was the financial advisor to Gridiron.

Gridiron’s buy of Vistage is expected to close by the end of July 2022.

© 2022 Private Equity Professional | June 29, 2022

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