small private equity firm started in Southern Michigan plans to invest in a niche area most investors ignore. In targeting small manufacturers in small towns and other rural markets across the state, Parma-based Fresh Water Ventures Fund LP seeks to acquire small businesses and maintain operations in their hometowns.

Published in Finance

GRAND RAPIDS — A new office in suburban Detroit gives Blackford Capital a market presence to scout for deals in the heart of the auto industry and center for American manufacturing. 

Published in Finance

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.

Published in Finance

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.

Published in Finance
Sunday, 18 February 2018 20:07

MiBiz Growth Report: Feb. 19, 2018

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.

Published in Breaking News

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.

Published in Breaking News

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.

Published in Economic Development
Sunday, 12 November 2017 16:04

MiBiz Growth Report: Nov. 13, 2017

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.

Published in Breaking News

A portfolio company of private equity firm Blackford Capital bought its second firm in the book printing industry.

Published in Breaking News

The active mergers and acquisitions market shows no signs of slowing down for the foreseeable future. 

Published in M&A Award Profiles
Page 1 of 4