Gryphon sells staffing company to Goldman consortium

Goldman’s Urban Investment Group, along with Pharos and Haas Wheat, purchased healthcare staffing company Nursefinders from Gryphon for an undisclosed amount.

San Francisco-based mid-market firm Gryphon Investors has sold healthcare staffing company Nursefinders to a consortium including two Dallas-based firms, Pharos Capital Group and Haas Wheat & Partners, and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal is a first for Pharos, said Joel Goldberg, a principal at the firm. “We’ve done a lot of healthcare investing, but nothing specific to the staffing sector,” he said. “The ageing US population is going to create more and more demand for healthcare serives going forward. And there are fewer and fewer nurses available to fill those healthcare demands.”

Gryphon acquired the healthcare staffing company in 2004, investing alongside West Coast managed care provider Kaiser Permanente and Ray Marcy, former chief executive of staffing agency Spherion.

The company expanded into physician staffing and allied health staffing with the add-on acquisitions of Linde Healthcare/Kendall & Davis in July 2005 and Club Staffing in June 2006. Nursefinders currently has more than 100 offices serving US hospitals, outpatient centres, assisted living and other health care facilities. It also provides home health services through 25 of its offices.

Goldman’s Urban Investment Group is a private equity initiative within Goldman Sachs that invests in ethnic minority-owned or targeted businesses and urban real estate. Nursefinders will be combined with an existing Goldman portfolio company, National Healthcare Staffing.

“We are delighted that this sale will result in attractive returns for Gryphon and its partners and allow Nursefinders and its management team to partner with Goldman Sachs, one of the most well-respected and successful investors in the healthcare services sector,” Nick Orum, Gryphon partner and head of its business services group, said in a statement.

Piper Jaffray was the external financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis was legal advisor to Nursefinders and Gryphon. Greenberg Traurig was legal advisor to Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group.