GRAND RAPIDS — Even when it first acquired Dickinson Press LLC more than three years ago, Blackford Capital saw Brainerd, Minn.-based CJK Group Inc. as a potential buyer.
Blackford Capital’s latest deal brought a new investment partner to the table: Gun Lake Investments, the economic development arm of the Gun Lake Tribe.
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.
GRAND RAPIDS — The relationship between two companies involved in a 2016 acquisition appears to have soured, with both entities now pointing the finger at each other in federal court.
Blackford Capital closed on three acquisitions in 2017 through its two private equity finds and sold two companies in what founder and Managing Director Martin Stein said were “phenomenal exits.” Blackford Capital owns 11 companies, nine through the Michigan Prosperity Fund and two through its National Growth Practice. Stein expects the U.S. economy in 2018 to remain in “pretty good” shape, driving growth in Blackford’s portfolio companies. He doesn’t see any downturn ahead for at least another two years.
Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Nov. 13, 2017:
• M&A: Wabash, Ind.-based Martin Yale Industries LLC, a portfolio company of Grand Rapids-based private equity firm LV2 Equity Partners LLC, acquired Dry-Lam LLC of Shawnee, Kan., according to a statement. The transaction marked the second bolt-on acquisition for Martin Yale, a manufacturer of print finishing, office and mailroom equipment. Dry-Lam is a distributor of laminating equipment and films to the office product and commercial print finishing industries. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Dry-Lam’s distribution center will be relocated to Martin Yale’s Indiana facility.
A portfolio company of private equity firm Blackford Capital bought its second firm in the book printing industry.
The active mergers and acquisitions market shows no signs of slowing down for the foreseeable future.
With three acquisitions and two exits under his belt in the last year and a half, Martin Stein continues to drive a steady pace of deal activity at Blackford Capital.
Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Sept. 5, 2017.
• M&A: U.K.-based Playtech acquired the technology, intellectual property and certain customer assets of ACM Group, whose CEO, Muhammad Al-Amin Rasoul, and management team are based in Grand Rapids. Playtech, a supplier of online gaming software, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has 5,000 employees in 17 countries. Grand Rapids investment banking firm Charter Capital Partners served as financial adviser for ACM Group, a business-to-business market maker, dealer and broker in London. The deal is expected to close in early September. Terms include an initial upfront payment of $5 million, two staged payments based on the EBITDA of 2017 and 2018, and contingent consideration based on 2019 EBITDA. The total consideration for the transaction is capped at $150 million.