Gryphon bolsters operating team

The middle market private equity firm has hired bottled water exec Dennis O’Brien.

Gryphon Investors, a middle market private equity firm based in San Francisco, has hired consumer products industry veteran Dennis O’Brien as an operating partner.

As a member of Gryphon’s operations resources group, O’Brien will monitor and help improve the performance of portfolio companies in his area of expertise.

O’Brien was most recently chief executive officer at Penta Water Company, a bottled water company where he remains on the board. Prior to joining Penta, he was president and chief operating officer of ConAgra’s $8.5 billion (€5.4 billion) packaged foods business. O’Brien has also help positions with Procter & Gamble, Nestle and Campbell Soup Company.

Gryphon raised a $100 million annex fund through a rights offering in January following the close of its third fund on $415 million in 2006. The firm has since begun raising its fourth fund targeting $750 million according to the Probitas Partners 2008 Private Equity Deskbook. The firm typically makes investments of between $25 million and $75 million.