zHere is the MiBiz Growth Report for Jan. 9, 2017.
• M&A: Grand Rapids-based Irwin Seating Co. signed a letter of intent to purchase American Seating Co.’s architectural fixed seating business in a deal expected to close in March 2017, pending due diligence. The business includes products for stadiums, auditoriums and other large venues. The company’s move to divest a “higher profile part of our business was an extremely difficult decision to make,” Chairman and CEO Ed Clark said in a statement announcing the transaction. The sale comes as American Seating seeks “to optimize its operations and resources in order to pursue significant growth opportunities” in its transportation seating business, where the company will continue to focus. American Seating intends to lay off 80 workers early this year as a result of the deal. However, a portion of that workforce may transition into roles at Irwin Seating, according to the statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Sigma Machine Inc. plans to invest $27.8 million in an expansion project that will increase the company’s presence in the Midlink Business Park in Comstock Township.
RICHLAND — As manufacturers turn to automation and robotics to speed production and increase efficiencies, one soon-to-be graduate of Western Michigan University aims to bring that technology to machine shops.