Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for March 20, 2017:
• M&A: Grand Rapids-based fuel distributor Crystal Flash Inc. has expanded its geographic footprint into Southeast Michigan with the acquisition of Adrian-based Lenawee Farm Bureau Oil Cooperative, which has more than 500 customers. Two employees will stay on with Crystal Flash, according to a statement. Terms of the deal, which was finalized this month, were not disclosed. Lenawee County Farm Bureau Oil Cooperative serves agricultural, commercial, construction and home heating oil customers. Grand Rapids-based Charter Capital Partners served as financial adviser to Crystal Flash on the deal. The employee-owned company employs 250 people at 15 locations in Michigan.
• M&A: Universal Forest Products Inc. plans to break into the hardwood products business with an affiliate’s acquisition of certain assets of Quality Hardwood Sales LLC of Nappanee, Ind., according to a statement. Quality Hardwood manufactures and supplies hardwood products and cabinetry components for homes and recreational vehicles. The company had net sales of about $30 million in 2016. According to a statement, Quality Hardwood’s management team planned to stay on with the company following the sale. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
• M&A: American Health Care Investors LLC and Griffin Capital Company LLC — the cosponsors of Los Angeles-based Griffin-American Health Care REIT lV Inc. — purchased the 46,000-square-foot Battle Creek Medical Office Building located at 3600 Capital Ave., according to a statement. The multi-tenant building situated on 7.34 acres of land stands at approximately 97-percent occupied and is anchored by Ambulatory Surgery Associates LLC, which does business as Brookside Surgery Center. The outpatient surgery provider recently signed a new lease and occupies about 14,000 square feet in the building, according to the statement. The company financed the acquisition with cash on hand. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
• Expansion: Kalamazoo-based CKL Corp., which does business as Imperial Beverage Co., became just the fourth authorized distributor agent for spirits in Michigan. Starting April 3, the company plans to deliver spirits for four vendors, including Kalamazoo-based Green Door Distilling Co., President Joe Cekola told MiBiz. The statewide distributor of beer and wine started the licensing process more than six years ago, he said. Imperial plans to focus on craft distilleries with the expansion and target “craft-centric” accounts. “Could we say in five years, spirits will be 15 percent of our business? It’s realistic. We’re targeting low to begin with and go from there,” Cekola said. The move also marks the launch of distribution for Green Door, which opened last fall. Co-founder Josh Cook said the distillery would like to send its products to restaurants, bars and independent retailers around Kalamazoo to start, and grow slowly from there. “Really, it’s companies that see the value (of craft spirits) in our state,” he said of the company’s ideal retailers.
• Expansion: Holland-based JR Automation Technologies plans to invest $1.9 million in an expansion project that will increase production space at its Stevensville operation in Southwest Michigan. The manufacturer of automation equipment expects to hire 60 additional workers to accommodate the work resulting from the 25,000-square-foot expansion, according to a statement. Lincoln Charter Township granted JR Automation a tax abatement for the addition, which is expected to be completed in December 2017.
• Expansion: Betten Baker Auto Group plans to invest roughly $4 million to build a new, three-story facility in Coopersville. The Muskegon-based dealer group’s new facility will include a Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram store and pre-owned “super center.” It will be located west of the company’s Chevrolet Buick store, near 68th street and I-96, according to a statement. Betten Baker Auto Group plans to hire around 50 workers to staff the new location, said co-owner Chris Baker.
• Expansion: Charlotte-based Spartan Motors Inc. struck a deal with Ed M. Feld Equipment Co. to serve as the Iowa-based dealership’s exclusive manufacturer of fire truck components. The partnership will increase Spartan Motors’ (Nasdaq: SPAR) distribution footprint to include Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana, filling a gap in its Midwest market, according to a statement.