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Sunday, 18 February 2018 20:07

MiBiz Growth Report: Feb. 19, 2018

Written by  MiBiz Staff
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Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Feb. 19, 2018: 

• M&A: Great Lakes Scrip Center Inc., a West Michigan-based provider of gift cards for fundraising, was acquired by Minneapolis, Minn.-based Bold Orange, a recently formed marketing firm. Over 23 years, Great Lakes Scrip Center has worked with more than 48,000 organizations to raise $680 million. The company last spring acquired The Manna Group in Palatine, Ill. and was the largest gift card company in the nation. Local operations at Great Lakes Scrip, which employs about 90 people, will continue “business as usual,” said Jill Whalen, vice president for retail operations.

• M&A: Grand Rapids-based Agility Health Inc. will sell its physical therapy operations in the U.S. to Tampa, Fla.-based Alliance Physical Therapy Management LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alliance Physical Therapy Partners LLC, in a deal valued at $45 million. Under terms of the deal with Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, a portfolio company of New York private equity firm GPB Capital Holdings LLC, $25 million from the sale will go to investment firm Alaris USA Inc., a unit of Canadian-based Alaris Royalty Corp. that holds B and C stock in Agility Health, a provider of outpatient and on-site rehabilitation and physical therapy services. Agility will use about $1.3 million of the proceeds from the sale as working capital to grow Medic Holdings, an operator of 12 foot care clinics in Canada that it acquired in 2017. 

• M&A: The National Growth Practice at Grand Rapids private equity firm Blackford Capital invested in Online Tech Stores of Reno, Nev., a wholesale distributor of aftermarket imaging supplies and accessories, including laser printer toner cartridges, ink cartridges and other products. Online Tech Stores is the 12th portfolio company in the fund. Fifth Third Bank, with support from syndicate partners Union Bank, Zions Bank and OFS Capital Corp., provided debt financing for the deal.

• M&A: Elk Rapids-based Burnette Foods Inc., a private-label food processor, has sold its maraschino cherry business to Marion, N.Y.-based Seneca Foods Corp. (Nasdaq: SENEA, SENEB). The deal allows Seneca to bolster its current operations, while Burnette turns its focus to its core business, according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

• Expansion: Lighthouse Insurance Group Inc. plans to move between 130 and 150 employees to an office in downtown Grand Rapids, MiBiz exclusively reported last week. According to sources familiar with the plans, the Grand Rapids-based insurance agency plans to take space on the third and fourth floors at 56 Grandville Ave. SW, the headquarters of accounting firm Beene Garter LLP. An entity affiliated with Beene Garter that owns the headquarters property outlined the “potential tenant” in an application to the city Planning Commission seeking permission to demolish a building at 213 Oakes St. SW and build a surface parking lot to accommodate the additional workers.

• Expansion: Caledonia-based Always Local LLC, which sells produce under the Revolution Farms brand, will invest $3.3 million into a large-scale commercial aquaponics farm south of Grand Rapids that will produce fresh salad mixes and locally raised fish. The company plans to build a 55,000-square-foot glass greenhouse and a 35,000-square-foot warehouse in Caledonia Township, according to a statement. Always Local expects to create 12 jobs with the project’s first phase. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development awarded a $50,000 performance-based grant to the company for the project.

• Expansion: Sparta-based ChoiceOne Bank plans to open a new full-service branch this fall on East Division Street near Wolverine Boulevard in Rockford. The bank closed on the building’s purchase on Jan. 30 and expects to open the new office in October. The bank also is renovating an office building it bought on the south end of downtown Grand Rapids for a new branch that will open in late summer. Integrated Architecture of Grand Rapids is designing both new branches. NAI Wisinski of West Michigan handled the sale of the buildings in Grand Rapids and Rockford.

• Investment: Grand Rapids-based venture capital firm Grand Ventures I LP was among the investors in Engage Talent, a Charleston, S.C.-based software firm that uses artificial intelligence to work with clients to identify and engage with job candidates. Grand Ventures joined with Cincinnati-based Refinery Ventures and Washington, D.C.-based investment firm Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund to invest $6 million in the company. Engage Talent will use the proceeds to expand R&D and further develop predictive recruiting technologies.

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