Vistage Worldwide, Inc., the world’s largest CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for small and midsize businesses (SMB), announced that its management team has partnered with Gridiron Capital, an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams, to acquire the Company from Providence Equity Partners. Members of Vistage’s executive management team have also invested in the Company alongside Gridiron, underscoring their confidence in and commitment to Vistage’s continued success. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Since 1957, Vistage has been bringing together groups of high-performing CEOs through a proven leadership experience that delivers results both personally and professionally. When leaders come together in their confidential Vistage private advisory group meetings, they gain the perspective, clarity and support to help them become better leaders and accelerate their company’s growth. More than 27,000 Vistage members worldwide also have access to expert speakers, personalized coaching sessions, and international networking. Under the guidance of their Chair – an accomplished former CEO dedicated to helping others grow – members come together to share expertise, challenge one another to think critically and arrive at better decisions.
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Sam Reese, CEO of Vistage, commented, “We are pleased with the growth Vistage has experienced in partnership with Providence Equity Partners. 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. The Gridiron team has extensive experience in the small business sector and fully appreciates the support and services that we provide to CEOs. Under the new partnership, Vistage will maintain its strong culture, operating principles, and purpose of helping high-integrity leaders make great decisions for their companies, families, and communities.”
Tom Burger, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Gridiron, said, “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. 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.”
“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, Senior Managing Director of Gridiron.
David Phillips, Senior Managing Director at Providence, said, “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. 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.”
The transaction is expected to close in July of 2022 and is subject to customary closing conditions. Macquarie Capital served as financial advisor to Providence Equity and Vistage; Ropes & Gray along with Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth served as legal counsel. Truist Securities served as financial advisor and Finn, Dixon & Herling LLP served as legal counsel to Gridiron.
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