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MiBiz Growth Report: Jan. 22, 2018

BY MiBiz Staff Sunday, January 21, 2018 01:09pm

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Jan. 22, 2018: 

• M&A: Bridgman-based Kruger Plastic Products has been acquired by Chicago-based private equity firm HC Private Investments, according to a statement. Kruger President Pat Brandstatter and VP of Engineering Dirk Kruger retained “significant stakes” in the custom injection molding company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Grand Rapids-based Varnum LLP served as legal counsel to Kruger, which was advised on the transaction by BlueWater Partners LLC, a Grand Rapids-based investment banking and consulting firm.

• M&A: Grand Haven-based automotive component supplier Shape Corp. plans to acquire Trenton, Ohio-based Magnode Corp., a manufacturer of aluminum extrusions. The two companies previously worked together on engineering projects and developed best practices for lightweighting, a key trend in the automotive industry to shave weight from parts to improve overall vehicle efficiency. According to a statement, the acquisition is expected to close in March. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Magnode will become a division of Shape Corp.

• M&A: Acrisure LLC would extend its business to Europe with the proposed purchase of London-based insurance broker Beach & Associates. The U.K. firm agreed to sell all of its equity from existing shareholders to Acrisure, the Caledonia-based firm that’s been the largest buyer of insurance agencies in North America. The deal, which includes shares held by New York City-based private equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners, is subject to regulatory approvals and could close in the first quarter of 2018. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

• M&A: Muskegon-based Betten Baker Auto Group has acquired Cadillac-based Godfrey Chevrolet Buick, its 14th store in the West Michigan region, according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Betten Baker, which employs more than 600 people, took over the store effective immediately. The new owners said they planned to retain General Manager Evan Godfrey and the store’s current leadership team and employees.

• M&A: Byron Center-based foam fabricator G&T Industries Inc. has acquired Woodbury, Tenn.-based Crane Interiors Inc., a provider of marine upholstery to boat manufacturers. The move solidifies G&T’s plan to diversify into the marine upholstery market, according to a statement. Crane was a customer of the company for years. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but G&T said it will retain all of Crane Interiors’ assets. Crane has 190 employees and will continue to operate out of its Woodbury location.

• Expansion: Lansing-based XG Sciences Inc. (XGS) plans to open a new 64,000-square-foot facility near Mason to house production for product platforms and to meet capacity requirements. The $15.3 million investment from XGS will potentially add 40 jobs in Vevay Township and 36 jobs at the company’s other Michigan operations. XG Sciences commercializes graphene nanoplatelets used for the energy storage, aerospace, automotive, industrial and consumer markets. Ingham County’s Vevay Township granted the company a tax abatement to go along with a $520,000 Business Development Program performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) assisted the company with its expansion plans. The first phase of the expansion project is expected to be completed this year, according to a statement.

• Expansion: B&K Technology Solutions Inc., which does business as Advanced Technology Recycling, has expanded its Grand Rapids operations in a 25,000-square-foot facility on Cottage Grove St. SE. The electronics recycling and asset management company — which relocated from a smaller site on Jefferson Avenue SE — employs eight full-time staff members presently at the facility and plans to bring on four more people immediately with four to six new hires planned for later this year, the company said.

• Expansion: Arconic Inc. (NYSE: ARNC) will invest $10 million into its existing Whitehall-based facility in an expansion that’s expected to create 38 jobs over the next several years, according to a statement. The global manufacturing company will produce high-tech machinery and equipment at the location. Arconic — which includes the former Alcoa Howmet and other operations — creates super-alloy airfoils for jet engines and industrial gas turbines.

• Expansion: Muskegon-based Best Financial Credit Union opened an office on Savidge Street in Spring Lake. The credit union built the branch on a former industrial site with the assistance of the Ottawa County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, which provided Best Financial CU with financial incentives to offset the additional costs of redeveloping the property. Assistance included grant funding from the U.S. EPA, a loan from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and tax increment financing. The Spring Lake office is the second for Best Financial, which as of Sept. 30 had 11,174 members and assets of $86.2 million, according to a quarterly report filed with federal regulators.

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