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Sunday, 22 November 2015 21:08

MiBiz Growth Report: Nov. 23, 2015

Written by  MiBiz Staff
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Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Nov. 23, 2015:

M&A: Grand Rapids-based tech firm Zipments Corp. has been acquired by a rival mobile delivery service Deliv of Menlo Park, Calif. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In the deal, Deliv will gain access to the New York City market, which Zipments serves in addition to the Chicago market, according to a statement. For Zipments, the sale represented an opportunity for the smaller organization to grow in the mobile delivery industry, founder and CEO Garrick Pohl told MiBiz. Pohl and his team of five workers will join Deliv and continue to lead the company’s operations on the east coast from its headquarters in Grand Rapids. The venture capital-backed Zipments last year secured more than $1 million from investors including Grand Rapids-based Start Garden LLC, Grand Angels and Huron River Ventures. In 2013, Zipments raised $2.25 million in a funding round led by New York-based FirstMark Capital, Huron River Ventures, Grand Rapids-based Windquest Group and the New York City Economic Development Corp. Pohl founded Zipments five years ago in Holland.

• M&A: ABC Supply Co. Inc. of Beloit, Wis. recently acquired the assets of Hudsonville-based Team Wholesale Inc., according to a statement. Team Wholesale supplies siding and windows for the building and construction industry. ABC Supply operates as a wholesale distributor of roofing, siding, windows and other exterior products. ABC currently maintains an additional branch along Division Ave. in Grand Rapids. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

• M&A: A new venture including Stephen Curtis at Rowster Coffee Inc. and Joel Wabeke, a former chef at Terra Grand Rapids, has acquired the assets of the Kava House Inc. coffee shop in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood from owners Pam Murray and Leigh Vander Molen. The to-be-named venture will have some of the same ownership as Rowster but will have a different identity than Rowster’s cafe. Located at 1445 Lake Drive SE, Kava House closed Nov. 20 and will reopen under a new name in January. Kava House’s owners were represented by Kristen Moore, a commercial real estate broker at Grand Rapids-based M Retail Inc. The acquiring group was represented by Mike Murray of Colliers International of West Michigan.

• M&A: Gladstone-based First Bancshares Corp., the parent company of First Bank Upper Michigan, has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Northern Michigan Corp., the holding company of Northern Michigan Bank & Trust, in an all-cash transaction, according to a report from WBUP ABC 10 in Marquette. The deal, which is subject to regulatory and Northern Michigan shareholder approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016. The privately-held First Bancshares will operate Northern Michigan Bank & Trust as an independent subsidiary and will retain the company’s name. First Bank, which has branches in Gladstone, Escanaba and Garden, had total assets of $182.7 million as of Sept. 30. Northern Michigan operated branches in Escanaba, Marquette, Ishpeming, Kingsford, Bark River, Gladstone, and Iron Mountain and had assets of $243.5 million as of Sept. 30.

• Expansion: Pending passage of three bills in the Michigan legislature, Las Vegas-based technology firm Switch Communications Inc. plans to build its eastern U.S. data center campus in Gaines Township, south of Grand Rapids. The company plans approximately 2 million square feet of space on the site of the Pyramid Building, a former Steelcase Inc. facility, according to a statement. The building will be home to Switch Communication’s $5 billion Supernap data center. A complete build-out of the more than 680,000-square-foot building is expected to take up to 10 years, according to a statement. Upon completion, the campus is projected to employ up to 1,000 people. Many of the employees will be hired locally, the company said. Switch’s clients include technology giants such as Google, Amazon and Boeing. The company is working with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and The Right Place Inc. on incentives for the project.

• Expansion: Appropos LLC opened a sales and support office in Munich, Germany to support the deployment of its Envoy software-as-a-service platform, according to a statement. The company chose the location to work closely with one of its manufacturing clients. The Envoy platform — described as the “Swiss Army knife” of wholesale business-to-business software — allows sales personnel and retailers to order products, check inventory, digitally display product, and more, according to the company. Appropos, which was founded in 2012 and employs 22 people, said its partners include “some of the world’s leading footwear and apparel makers.”

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