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Sunday, 05 August 2018 20:00

MiBiz Growth Report: Aug. 6. 2018

Written by  MiBiz Staff
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Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Aug. 6. 2018.

M&A

  • Holland-based Balanced Enterprise Solutions LLC, the parent company of Evans Machinery Co. and Ritter Machinery Co., has acquired the Countertop Machinery Division of Minneapolis, Minn.-based Midwest Automation, according to a statement. The woodworking equipment maker plans to move manufacturing of the Midwest line to facilities in Holland as part of the deal, which expands its countertop production market to higher-volume customers in North America and Central America. Balanced Enterprise plans to sell the equipment under the Evans Midwest brand, according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Muskegon Heights-based Hurricane Inc., which designs and manufactures a line of stand-on leaf and debris blowers, has signed a deal to sell certain assets to Milwaukee, Wis.-based small engine manufacturer Briggs & Stratton Corp. (NYSE: BGG), according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition will help accelerate Briggs & Stratton’s diversification into the commercial products sector.
  • Muskegon-based Betten Baker Auto Group has acquired Midland-based McArdle Buick GMC Cadillac, its fourth dealership acquisition so far this year. The deal, which went effective July 31, adds the 18th location to the growing Muskegon-based Betten Baker, according to a statement. The dealership group plans to rename the store Betten Baker Buick GMC Cadillac. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Betten Baker now employs more than 850 people across the state.
  • Traverse City-based Cone Drive Operations Inc., a portfolio company of Scottish private equity firm Clyde Blowers Capital, signed a deal to sell its operations to New Canton, Ohio-based The Timken Co. (NYSE: TKR), according to a statement. Cone Drive, a manufacturer of precision industrial motion control products with locations in Traverse City and Ludington, is expected to generate more than $100 million in sales this year. The deal also included Cone Drive’s H-Fang subsidiary in Jiangyin, China. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal is subject to government and regulatory approvals and is expected to close at the end of August. Cone Drive employs 500 people and serves the solar energy, automation, aerial platforms, and food and beverage industries.
  • Grand Rapids-based industrial equipment manufacturer Burke Porter Group expanded its European holdings with the acquisition of Florence, Italy-based Galileo TP Process Equipment S.r.l., which specializes in the design and engineering of refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Existing management at Galileo will remain with the company after the deal, which will open new opportunities for its technology in the U.S. and Asia.
  • Lansing-based Neogen Corp. (Nasdaq: NEOG) purchased Glendale, Calif.-based Clarus Labs Inc. in a deal that included the company’s patented Colitag water testing product and broadens its access to the water microbiology testing market. The product can be used to test water for coliform bacteria such as E. coli, including at municipal water treatment facilities. Since 2004, Neogen has offered Clarus Labs’ Colitag product to the food and beverage industry via a distribution agreement with the company. The acquisition “reverses that agreement,” with Neogen taking ownership of the technology and working with Clarus Labs’ sister company, Santa Rosa-based CPI International, to manufacture and distribute the product, according to Dr. Jason Lilly, vice president of corporate development at Neogen. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Expansions

  • Aerospace manufacturer Arconic Inc. will invest roughly $100 million for a 103,000-square-foot expansion at its casting plant in Whitehall, north of Muskegon. The company — formerly known as Alcoa Howmet Castings — expects the project to create up to 45 jobs. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is supporting the project with a $495,000 performance-based Michigan Business Development Program grant. The City of Whitehall also will give the company a 50-percent tax abatement. The plant expansions are expected to be operational by the end of 2020.
  • Kent, Wash.-based outdoor lifestyle retailer Recreational Equipment Inc., more commonly known as REI, plans to open a 20,000-square-foot co-op store at 3149 28th St. SE in Grand Rapids on land that’s part of Woodland Mall, according to a statement. The store, slated to open next spring, would be the retailer’s fourth location in the state after sites in Ann Arbor, Northville and Troy.
  • Wyoming, Mich.-based Gordon Food Service Inc., a foodservice distribution company, plans to invest $50.8 million (Canadian) and add 35 new jobs as part of a 95,000-square-foot expansion at its Boucherville distribution center, located just east of Montreal. The provincial government of Quebec is backing the company’s plans with an $8 million interest-free loan that will go to support improving its operations and to automate a portion of the distribution center’s shipping process. Additionally, Quebec’s Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity is providing Gordon Food Service with a $146,160 contribution to implement a tailored training program for new employees. Last week, GFS also expanded into Detroit with a new 16,000-square-foot grocery store concept at 2760 E. Jefferson Ave., according to a report in Crain’s Detroit Business.
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