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MiBiz Growth Report: June 12, 2017

BY MiBiz Staff Sunday, June 11, 2017 09:08pm

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for June 12, 2017:

  • M&A: Livonia-based Valassis, a publisher of shoppers and direct mail marketing, has acquired Portage-based Great Deals Magazine, which is mailed to 340,000 households in the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo areas seven times annually, according to a statement. Great Deals will join the company’s Clipper division of locally-focused marketing publications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal allows Valassis to enter the West Michigan market.
  • M&A: Grand Rapids-based Chlystek & White Services Inc., an insurance premium audit services firm, was acquired by Farmington Hills-based H.W. Kaufman Financial Group Inc., according to a statement. CWS will join the Afirm division, which is based in Fort Collins, Colo. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Afirm will retain all of the 158 employees at CWS. Principal shareholder Mark de Waal will become vice president of sales at Afirm.
  • M&A: A Canadian mineral exploration company has purchased the mineral exploration rights for a considerable swath of Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula. A subsidiary of Longueuil, Quebec-based Highland Copper Co. Inc. (TSX-V: HI) acquired mineral rights for 447,842 acres of property from Kennecott Exploration Co. and Rio Tinto Nickel Co., according to a statement. Both firms are subsidiaries of London-based Rio Tinto Group. UPX Minerals Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Highland Copper, agreed to an $18 million deal, including $2 million at close and a $16 million zero-interest promissory note. UPX will pay down the note incrementally over six years. Highland is guaranteeing the repayment. The properties span the area roughly from Marquette to L’Anse south to Crystal Falls with known gold, copper, iron and zinc deposits.
  • M&A: Round Barn Winery & Distillery of Baroda acquired nearby Buchanan-based Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant, one of the state’s original wineries. The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, came about as part of a succession plan for the owners at Tabor Hill and a growth strategy for Round Barn. The acquisition will allow Round Barn to scale up its winemaking capacity, going from about 15,000 cases annually to more than 30,000 cases over time, said co-owner Chris Moersch. Moreover, the deal paves the way for Round Barn to sell its craft beer and distilled spirits in Tabor Hill’s restaurant, which is allowed under state law. Berrien Springs-based Honor Credit Union financed the deal. Tabor Hill also worked with the Michigan Small Business Development Center, housed within Grand Valley State University.
  • Expansion: Dutton-based Railtown Brewing Co. will build a new expanded taproom and production facility at the current site of the Dutton Car Wash on 68th Street, immediately east of its current location. Founders Gim Lee and Justin Buiter told MiBiz they expect to close on the property in the next couple of weeks, with groundbreaking on the 6,250-square-foot facility in September and occupancy in the first quarter of 2018. The partners cited the need for more seating capacity, the ability to offer food, and space constraints at its current leased location as the drivers for the expansion. The company is working with Grand Rapids-based The Design Forum Inc. for architectural services; Beer City Metal Works & Construction, a division of Wyoming-based D&D Building Inc., is serving as the general contractor.
  • Expansion: Grand Rapids-based Harmony Brewing Co. LLC plans to acquire the adjacent Subway restaurant property and expand bar and restaurant service to the building, which is located at 1540 Wealthy St. SE. The expansion would allow for increased dining capacity, the addition of eight on-site parking spaces and about 35 full-time and part-time jobs and added indoor and outdoor seating, according to documents filed with the Grand Rapids Planning Commission. The Subway building would also have a second kitchen solely for carry-out and delivery pizza. The company hopes to close on the deal by mid-June.
  • Expansion: Traverse City-based Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC) will add an 82,800-square-foot industrial building in the village of Kaleva in northern Manistee County, according to a statement from the Alliance for Economic Success. The nonprofit company plans to move much of its mattress, refrigeration and electronics dismantling operations to the new site. BARC President Andy Gale said the new facility offers a central location for the recycling operations.
  • Expansion: Grand Rapids-based public and investor relations firm Lambert, Edwards and Associates Inc. launched a new consulting practice, responding to the growing demands of clients who want more from their professional service providers. Running the new practice is Rob Dwortz, the former president of The Bank of Holland who departed following the 2015 merger with Chemical Financial Corp. when his position was eliminated. The new practice will focus on client strategic planning, operating tactics and discipline, leadership development, succession planning, transaction services and raising capital.

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