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Sunday, 04 February 2018 14:23

MiBiz Growth Report: Feb. 5, 2018

Written by  MiBiz Staff
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Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Feb. 5, 2018

• M&A: Grand Rapids-based Alliance CNC Cutter Grinding Services Inc. was acquired by GWS Tool Group LLC of Tavares, Fla., according to a statement. Alliance CNC is a designer and manufacturer of tight tolerance drills, reamers and micro-tools. With the deal, GWS adds hole-making tool capabilities to its existing focus in round tools, endmills and inserts. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Alliance CNC will continue to operate out of its Grand Rapids area plant with its existing management team. GWS Tool Group is a vertically integrated manufacturer of engineered cutting tools for the aerospace, defense, power generation, automotive and medical industries.

• M&A: Grand Rapids-based Mingerink & Associates Inc., a manufacturer’s representative for nationwide brands to Midwest retailers and distributors, was acquired by Boise, Idaho-based Impact Group, a sales and marketing agency focused on consumer packaged goods, according to a statement. Mingerink was founded in 1977. Impact Group is backed by New York City private equity firm CI Capital Partners LLC, and has made a string of sales and marketing firm acquisitions in recent months. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

• M&A: Industrial equipment manufacturer Burke Porter Group of Grand Rapids has acquired  Sturtevant, Wis.-based Titan Inc., a maker of assembly and testing stands. The deal expands Burke Porter’s capabilities in hydraulic testing and assembly equipment, according to a statement. Titan’s products are used by OEMs and suppliers in the agriculture, construction, hydraulic components and forestry markets. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but Titan will see no changes in its daily operations, according to a statement. Promontory Point Capital of Milwaukee represented Titan in the deal. 

• M&A: Aquest Machining & Assembly of Greenville, an alias of Kasco Industries Inc., was acquired by FabX Industries Inc. of Greenville, according to a statement. Aquest offers CNC machining for aluminum extrusions. The sale came as owner Bob Playford, who acquired Aquest in 1996, looked to transition the business to new owners. FabX owner Gopikrishna Ganta had been looking to make an acquisition in the manufacturing industry. Grand Rapids-based Calder Capital LLC represented the seller in the transaction. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

• M&A: Lansing-based Liquid Web LLC, a provider of managed hosting services, acquired iThemes, an Oklahoma City, Okla.-based developer of WordPress plugins. According to a statement, the two companies had partnered in the past. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but iThemes will function as an independent unit of Liquid Web, which retained all of iThemes’ employees. Founder Cory Miller will continue to serve as general manager of iThemes and will join Liquid Web’s leadership team. Liquid Web is backed by private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners of Chicago.

• M&A: Manistique-based Mackinac Financial Corp. (Nasdaq:MFNC), the holding company for mBank, signed a definitive agreement to acquire Alpena-based First Federal of Northern Michigan Bancorp Inc. (OTC: FFNM) in an all-stock deal estimated at $33.8 million in stock.

The total transaction value equates to $41.8 million, according to a statement. The deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter, includes seven full-service banking locations, approximately $320 million in assets and $283 million in deposits. Mackinac was advised by Piper Jaffray & Co. and the law firm of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP. FFNM was advised by ProBank Austin and the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP.

• Expansion: Walker-based Axis Company LLC plans to invest $4 million into a new facility. The automation provider expects to create 50 jobs in West Michigan when it builds the new plant at an undisclosed location in Kent County, according to a statement from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Axis received a performance-based $400,000 Michigan Business Development Program grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund, as well as $125,000 via the Michigan New Jobs Training Program from Grand Rapids Community College. The company specializes in designing, programming and building robotic automation and assembly equipment. The Right Place Inc., a Grand Rapids-based economic development organization, helped Axis facilitate incentives for the project.

• Expansion: Hastings-based Viking Group Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of fire protection equipment, plans a new research and development facility in southern Kent County. The company plans to begin construction at a yet-to-be finalized site, located near the intersection of M-6 and M-37 in Caledonia, between its Hastings headquarters and an existing Grand Rapids facility. Upon completion, scheduled for early 2019, Viking Group says it will move around 100 people from the corporate headquarters to the new Caledonia R&D facility, freeing up space for expected growth in manufacturing. The Right Place Inc. helped Viking Group identify the Caledonia site.

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