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Reporter's Notebook: New Math

Written by | Sunday, 01 March 2015 22:00 |

Rick DeVos formed Start Garden and its predecessors, 5x5 Night and Momentum, to change the entrepreneurial and investment culture in West Michigan.

As it works to close two deals, Chemical Financial Corp. wants to increase its number of outstanding shares to finance pending mergers and perhaps structure future acquisitions.

Commercial lending by credit unions could get a boost through an agreement between two federal agencies that would increase access to credit for small businesses.

The regional economic recovery “is one of the most impressive across the Midwest region,” led by the manufacturing sector that’s now followed by expansion in other industries, according to the latest PNC outlook that covers a broad market that includes Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Lansing.

As the availability of venture capital increases further in Michigan, investors are steering more money and cutting more deals to invest in technology-based sectors.

Grand River Bank raises $10.6M to drive growth

Written by | Sunday, 15 February 2015 16:00 |

Raising $10.6 million provides Grand River Bank’s parent company with added capital to drive further growth and pursue new business as some competitors are either now part of larger banks or are merging into larger institutions.

For any business owner who’s seeking a buyer and worries about what will happen to his or her company in the long term, cutting a deal with another family could very well represent an option to consider.

Venture capital investors put almost twice the amount of money into Michigan companies in 2014 as they did the year before, continuing the industry’s momentum.

With the integration of the former Firstbank Corp. nearly complete following the acquisition last summer, Mercantile Bank Corp. moved into 2015 targeting loan and revenue growth across a far broader market.

The driving force behind Lake Michigan Financial Corp.’s proposed $184.1 million sale to Chemical Financial Corp. represents a contrast to what’s been driving most of the consolidation in the banking industry.

Continuing to grow through acquisitions, Chemical Financial Corp. said it plans to acquire Holland-based Lake Michigan Financial Corp. in a $184.1 million deal.

Before directors at Coldwater-based Monarch Community Bancorp Inc. explored the possibility of a sale or acquiring other banks itself, the organization needed to complete a successful recapitalization strategy and to emerge from under increased regulatory scrutiny.

Q&A: Gretchen Perkins, Huron Capital Partners LLC

Written by | Sunday, 04 January 2015 16:00 |

Private equity deal flow was strong in 2014 and Gretchen Perkins believes it will continue that way in 2015 as more business owners look to sell their companies in a good economy. A partner at Detroit-based private equity firm Huron Capital Partners, Perkins expects the economy to continue to improve this year, helping drive opportunity for both buyers and sellers.

Grand Angels to start fundraising for new $20M fund

Written by | Sunday, 14 December 2014 10:30 |

Grand Angels, the angel investing group formed a decade ago to back young companies in Michigan, is apparently preparing to create new venture capital fund.

A year-old law aimed to make it easier for all kinds of small businesses in Michigan to raise capital via intrastate crowdfunding. But the only companies consistently taking advantage of the new fundraising tool have been in the food and beverage industry, particularly craft breweries.

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