News & Insights

Recent News

BlackArch Partners Advises on the Sale of Vertical Supply Group to Gridiron Capital

BlackArch Partners is pleased to announce that Platte River Equity has completed the sale of Vertical Supply Group to Gridiron Capital.

CHARLOTTE, NC (April 21, 2022) – BlackArch Partners (“BlackArch”) is pleased to announce that Platte River Equity (“Platte River”) has completed the sale of Vertical Supply Group (“VSG” or the “Company”) to Gridiron Capital (“Gridiron”).

VSG, headquartered in Greensboro, NC, is a leading value-added distributor, manufacturer and e-commerce retailer of high-consequence-to-cost, safety- and productivity-enhancing products for arborists and other work-at-height markets. Founded in 1964, VSG has developed a legacy of product innovation and technical expertise, along with an unwavering culture of customer service and responsiveness. This legacy, coupled with the Company’s distinctive portfolio of market-leading brands, has led to entrenched relationships with a highly fragmented and growing network of professional customers across the tree care, electric utility, technical rescue and outdoor climbing and recreation markets. As the industry’s established acquiror of choice led by a talented and proven management team, VSG is well positioned for continued growth and sector leadership across the rapidly expanding work-at-height markets.

Tripp Wyckoff, Chief Executive Officer and President of VSG, commented, “At VSG, we take great pride in our performance-driven culture, our commitment to continuous improvement and the unwavering support and responsiveness that we provide for our customers. In BlackArch, we found a partner that shares this philosophy. Every member of the BlackArch team worked tirelessly to support our management team throughout the transaction process. Their execution capabilities and expertise, industry knowledge and constant professionalism helped deliver an exceptional outcome for our Company.”

Peter Calamari, Managing Director at Platte River, added, “BlackArch’s experience working with standout specialty distributors and safety-focused businesses was an important differentiator in us choosing them as an advisor. Furthermore, their high-touch buyer engagement, focused senior attention and deep market insights set the stage for an efficient, well-executed process. This was the second time Platte River has partnered with this BlackArch team, and they delivered once again – they exceeded our expectations across the board, resulting in a great outcome for VSG’s management team, employees and shareholders.”

BlackArch was retained by VSG and Platte River to serve as the Company’s lead financial advisor. The transaction builds upon BlackArch’s significant momentum in the specialty distribution, e-commerce and safety solutions sectors and is a further example of the firm’s ability to drive successful outcomes for high-growth, market-leading businesses with differentiated go-to-market strategies.

About Vertical Supply Group

Founded in 1964, VSG is a manufacturer and supplier of the world’s leading products that keep climbers, “industrial athletes” and technical rescue personnel safe and efficient while operating high above the ground. VSG’s leading brands and products set a standard of innovation and quality while providing world-class experiences for their retail, distribution and web store customers. VSG’s offering consists of the most comprehensive assortment of products for arborists, climbers, emergency personnel, technical rescue and other work-at-height professionals and enthusiasts. To learn more, visit

About Platte River Equity

Founded in 2006 and based in Denver, CO, Platte River Equity is a private equity firm focused on investments in established lower middle market operating companies in targeted industrial sectors where it has substantial operating and investing experience. Platte River utilizes conservative capital structures in order to invest in future growth opportunities and withstand changing economic environments. The firm also provides significant on-going support to its portfolio companies through dedicated resources across functional areas. The firm has raised funds with committed capital in excess of $1.3 billion and is currently investing out of its $625 million fourth fund. Platte River's employees are the largest collective investor across its funds, deeply aligning the firm with its investors and portfolio company management teams. To learn more, visit

About Gridiron Capital

Gridiron Capital is an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs and management teams and creating value by building middle-market companies into industry leaders in branded consumer, B2B and B2C services and niche industrial segments in the United States and Canada. Gridiron helps transform growing companies by winning together through hard work, partnerships grounded in shared values and a unique culture that comes from hands-on experience building and running businesses. As a team led by former operators and entrepreneurs, Gridiron knows what it takes to run successful businesses on a day-to-day basis. To learn more, visit

About BlackArch Partners

BlackArch Partners is a leading middle market investment bank offering a full spectrum of advisory services to financial sponsors, private companies and diversified corporations. BlackArch addresses the needs of owner-operators, founders and shareholders of private companies with specialized services that include M&A advisory, strategic advisory and private capital solutions. Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, BlackArch features a total of 12 industry-focused practices that cover all sectors of interest to middle market investors. BlackArch professionals have closed more than 400 transactions in 16 countries on four continents. To learn more, visit

Securities offered through BlackArch Securities LLC. Member FINRA and SIPC. Testimonials may not be representative of the experience of all clients. Testimonials are not a guarantee of future performance or success.