Press Releases
Posted January 9, 2020

Flat River Group Has Completed a Majority Recapitalization with Guardian Capital Partners

Consumer Products & Services,
Specialty Distribution
Transaction Type
Mergers & Acquisitions
Belding, Michigan

HOUSTON, January 9, 2020 — GulfStar Group (“GulfStar”) is pleased to announce the majority recapitalization of Flat River Group, LLC (“Flat River” or the “Company”) by Guardian Capital Partners (“Guardian”). GulfStar served as the exclusive financial advisor to Flat River throughout the transaction, which closed on December 17, 2019.

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Belding, Michigan, Flat River is a value-added distributor of consumer products with full-service warehousing and fulfillment capabilities for the North American markets. The Company’s deep knowledge of the eCommerce retail ecosystem, vast product assortment and proven drop-ship capabilities provide both its suppliers and its eCommerce customers with a turn-key solution to drive sales through product identification, dimensional inventory management and industry-best fulfillment execution.

“We are very grateful to the team at GulfStar for investing the time to fully understand the nuances of our business and position the Company in a manner that optimized the outcome for the owners, our employees and the Company’s strategic objectives,” said Matt Stahlin, CEO of Flat River. “With their long-term support and commitment, we were able to identify and select Guardian as our ideal partner, as they bring valuable experience and resources to bear in working with teams such as ours to scale to the next level. Considering the rigors and intensity of an institutional process, we could not have accomplished our objectives without the committed effort and expert guidance of the GulfStar team.”

Guardian Capital Partners is a private equity firm based in suburban Philadelphia that invests in lower middle market consumer products, niche manufacturing, and specialty service companies. Guardian partners with management teams to provide equity capital to fuel the growth of family-owned businesses. The private equity experience and complementary skill sets of the Guardian team provide a unique combination of operating and finance capabilities, resulting in certainty of execution and meaningful long-term value creation for its portfolio companies.

“Flat River is a truly exceptional business that has achieved meaningful success the old-fashioned way — with Founders who work harder, work smarter and empower their respective teams to excel through a truly flat organizational structure and a humble culture of respect,” said Scott Winship, managing director at GulfStar. “In less than a decade, the Company has risen to become a dominant sourcing and logistics partner for global brands and eCommerce retailers, with a wide-open pathway for growth via category expansion. We would like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of Matt Stahlin, Jim Stahlin and Matt Dean for their stewardship of Flat River’s success, and thank them for placing their trust in GulfStar in a terrific partnership that has spanned the better part of six years.”

“We are excited to witness Flat River’s acceleration into a broader market opportunity in partnership with Guardian,” added Roshan Gummattira, managing director of GulfStar. “This transaction outcome carries a very satisfying undercurrent where the strategic alignment and personality characteristics of Management and Guardian are quite obviously aligned at the outset, setting the stage for a highly efficient move to the next level of operational achievement.”

The GulfStar team was led by Managing Directors Scott Winship and Roshan Gummattira along with Associates Jon Sanfelippo and Andrew Winters.

About GulfStar Group
GulfStar is a leading middle market investment bank headquartered in Houston. GulfStar specializes in providing merger and acquisition advisory services, institutional private placements of equity and debt, and general corporate finance advisory services to companies with revenues or enterprise values generally ranging from $25 million to $350 million. Since its formation in 1990, GulfStar has completed 700 transactions in 35 states and 16 foreign countries across a variety of industries.

GulfStar Group
700 Louisiana Street
Suite 3800
Houston, Texas 77002


    Join our distribution list