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Sunday, 01 October 2017 20:55

MiBiz Growth Report: Oct. 2, 2017

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Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Oct. 2, 2017.

M&A

Two years after acquiring a 51-percent stake in Virtue Cider, an entity tied to global brewing conglomerate Anheuser Busch LLC has acquired the remainder of the company. According to a filing with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, the Anheuser Busch-owned Fulton Street Beer Co. of Chicago, which does business as Goose Island Beer Co., became the 100-percent owner of the company on Aug. 21, buying out the 49-percent stake held by founder Greg Hall and his 30 initial individual and corporate investors. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to a report in trade publication Brewbound, AB will fully integrate Virtue into its distributor network and move the company’s offices to Chicago. Hall and business partner Stephen Schmakel will still “drive the vision and possibilities for Virtue” and serve on AB’s “craft advisory board.”

Grand Rapids-based Crystal Flash, an employee-owned fuels distribution company, has acquired Knapp Energy Inc. of Kalamazoo, a distributor of gasoline, diesel, home heating and lubricants with more than 900 customers, according to a statement. Crystal Flash expects to retain all of Knapp’s employees in the deal. Terms of the deal, Crystal Flash’s eleventh acquisition since 2011, were not disclosed. Grand Rapids-based Charter Capital Partners advised Crystal Flash on the transaction. BlueWater Partners of Grand Rapids served as financial adviser to Knapp Energy, which was represented by Lewis, Reed & Allen PC of Kalamazoo.

Boven DeKock Electric Group Inc. and Ada Electric Inc. plan to merge by the end of the year, according to a statement. The companies collectively employ more than 25 people. Kalamazoo-based M&A advisory firm Focal 5 Group LLC is consulting on the transaction. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Expansions

Newell Brands Inc. plans to invest $7.3 million and create 87 new jobs as part of an expansion at its R&D facility at Western Michigan University’s Business Technology and Research Park. To support the project, the consumer products company received a $1.48 million performance-based Michigan Business Development grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., while the city of Kalamazoo offered a 12-year tax abatement totalling $1.5 million, according to a statement. The expansion is needed as part of Newell Brands’ $15.4 billion acquisition of Jarden Corp. Newell considered expansions at other R&D facilities it operates in Hoboken, N.J. and Chicago, Ill., according to MEDC documents.

Plascore Inc. will invest $6 million to expand its aerospace component production facility in Zeeland Industrial Park. The Zeeland-based manufacturer produces honeycomb structures used in the aerospace, marine, construction and other industries. Plascore currently employs more than 300 workers and expects to hire an additional 10 to 15 workers as a result of the expansion. The project will add 73,500 square feet to the operations and will include a variety of automation equipment.

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