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GRAND RAPIDS — The economic power of  Grand Rapids’ immigrant community grew by more than $100 million in just one year.

Jason Shamblin liked West Michigan each time his family visited, so he decided he might as well work and live here. When the opportunity arose, he applied to become Ottawa County’s new parks and recreation director.

Here is the growth report for July 21, 2019.

M&A

  • Kalamazoo-based SalesPage Technologies LLC acquired Advisor Atlas Inc., a data provider to asset management and financial services firms. The acquisition gives Kalamazoo-based Advisor Atlas greater access to asset managers that operate more today in teams to serve clients. Advisor Atlas now operates as a division of SalesPage Technologies. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
  • Standish-based Globe Fire Sprinkler Corp. was acquired by Easton, Pa.-based Victaulic Co. in a deal that closed July 8, according to a statement. The family-owned Globe has manufactured fire sprinklers and valves for 105 years. Globe President Steven Worthington remains in his role after the sale to Victualic, which will bring “additional financial resources” to the company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Perrigo Co. plc, which is domiciled in Dublin, Ireland, but run from Allegan, completed the sale of its animal health business for $185 million to PetIQ LLC, an Eagle, Idaho-based pet health and wellness company. The divestiture is part of a broad plan by President and CEO Murray Kessler to transform Perrigo (NYSE: PRGO) into a company focused on consumer health care products and medications. The animal health business generated $93.9 million in net sales for Perrigo in 2018, down from $141.3 million in 2017, with adjusted earnings of 8 cents per share. 

Expansion

  • Holland-based West Michigan International LLC and Holland-based Idealease of West Michigan LLC, a truck leasing and rental company, invested $6.7 million for a new 56,000-square-foot facility in Texas Township in Kalamazoo County, according to a report in Truck Parts and Service. The company expects to create up to 17 jobs with the expansion. 
  • Zeeland-based Artisan Medical Displays LLC, a manufacturer of medical display models, plans to invest more than $1.8 million to build a 20,000-square-foot facility on 84th Avenue in Zeeland Charter Township, creating up to 10 new jobs, according to the economic development organization Lakeshore Advantage Corp. The township approved a 12-year tax abatement for the expansion. Artisan Medical Displays produces implant replications, surgical trainers and customizable cases and bags.
  • Muskegon-based American Chemical Solutions LLC plans to breathe new life into an idled ESCO Co. LP chemical manufacturing plant on the lakeshore. The 20-acre site, which previously manufactured functional dyes for use in thermal and carbonless printing applications, was slated to be dismantled prior to ACS’s acquisition, according to a statement from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. ACS, which acquired the site and production assets, plans to resume functional dye manufacturing at the plant and provide contract manufacturing services. The company anticipates creating nearly 40 new full-time jobs and investing more than $15 million into the facility. The MEDC is helping to support the project with a $200,000 performance-based grant via the Michigan Business Development Program. 

Banking

  • Chemical Financial Corp.’s $3.6 billion acquisition of Wayzata, Minn.-based TCF Financial Corp. heads to a close Aug. 1 after receiving final federal regulatory approval. The Federal Reserve Board of Governors announced approval on July 16 of the all-stock deal that creates a bank with more than $46 billion in assets and 500 offices in nine states across the Midwest. Once the merger closes, the Detroit-based Chemical Financial will take on the TCF Financial name and trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol “TCF.” Under the deal announced in January, common shares of TCF Financial stock will convert into 0.5081 shares of the new company.

Higher ed

  • Grand Valley State University received a $2.8 million federal grant to train nurse practitioners who will work in rural and underserved markets. The four-year funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration will pay for 15 qualified students to enroll in the doctor of nursing program at the GVSU Kirkhof College of Nursing. The college will work on the initiative with Mercy Health Muskegon and McLaren Health. The college will co-design the clinical education with Mercy Health Muskegon and McLaren Health and focus on using technology to enhance care delivery and integrating mental health into primary care.

Real estate 

  • Trillium Investments LLC, a Grand Rapids-based multifamily investment and property management firm, has acquired the 160-unit Cottonwood Forest Apartments in Jenison. The $11.475 million transaction with Cottonwood Associates LLC closed on June 13, according to Georgetown Township property records. Trillium financed the deal in part with an $11 million short-term bank loan arranged by Cohen Financial, a division of SunTrust Bank. Trillium Investments used the financing to acquire the building and invest in upgrades, according to a statement. Once the properties have been renovated, Cohen expects to help the firm, a long-term client, to secure long-term financing. An affiliate of the investment firm, Trillium Cottonwood Owner LLC, raised nearly $4.6 million in equity via a private placement involving 30 investors, according to federal securities filings. 
  • Grand Rapids-based SpendMend LLC, which provides spending visibility and audit recovery services to the health care industry, will occupy a 31,000-square-foot building at Cascade Office Park, located at 2680 Horizon Drive SE in Grand Rapids. The park is owned and managed by Portage-based The Hinman Co. SpendMend had outgrown its previous 6,315-square-foot space and needed room to expand and hire more employees, according to a statement. NAI Wisinski of West Michigan represented SpendMend in the transaction. The headquarters move comes after SpendMend received a majority recapitalization investment in January 2018 from Sheridan Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm, as MiBiz previously reported. SpendMend later acquired a California-based health care audit firm in August. 

Development

  • Backed by an infusion of $55 million in federal funds, Lansing-based Michigan Community Capital plans to continue investing in mixed-income housing projects across the state. The funding comes via the latest $3.5 billion round of New Markets Tax Credit awards from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. The nonprofit Michigan Community Capital, which is supported by the Michigan Strategic Fund and various private-sector entities, including financial institutions and philanthropy, lends to and invests in a range of housing projects across the state. In the most recent round, Lansing-based Cinnaire Corp., which works nationally, received $195 million in New Markets Tax Credit funding, while Invest Detroit received $15 million. 

Closure

  • Graham Packaging Co. LP, a manufacturer of plastic containers and packaging, plans to cease operations and permanently close its plant in Holland. According to a notification the company sent to the state Workforce Development Agency, the shutdown will affect all 33 active hourly employees and nine active salaried employees at the location. In September, Graham Packaging will begin permanent layoffs at the Holland facility, located at 9263 Waverly Road. Final production will conclude in October, according to the company. The company also is closing plants with similar operations in Virginia and California. Graham Packaging generates $2 billion in domestic annual sales, according to data from Plastics News.

Energy

  • Tremaine Phillips received an appointment to the Michigan Public Service Commission last week from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Phillips, who will move back to his home state of Michigan to take the position, currently serves as director of the Cincinnati 2030 District. His prior experience includes working as vice president of strategic initiatives for Ohio-based Empower Gas and Electric LLC and as the assistant deputy director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. “His diverse background will give him the knowledge and insight to be successful in his new role and is supported by a broad array of stakeholders from environmental groups to business organizations,” Whitmer said in a statement. Phillips’ appointment, which is subject to the advice and consent of the state Senate, will start Sept. 9 and run through July 2, 2025. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Kent County commissioners will again discuss what to do with a county-owned office building in downtown Grand Rapids, as well as other building projects, as it decides what to fund in the next few years.

Mead Johnson & Co. LLC, a manufacturer of infant formula, plans to invest $67.7 million to expand its processing plant in Zeeland. 

Law firm Barnes & Thornburg LLP opened an office in suburban Detroit.

JENISON — Trillium Investments LLC, a Grand Rapids-based multifamily investment and property management firm, has acquired the 160-unit Cottonwood Forest Apartments in Jenison.

Chemical Financial Corp.’s $3.6 billion acquisition of Wayzata, Minn.-based TCF Financial Corp. heads to a close Aug. 1 after receiving final federal regulatory approval.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mercantile Bank Corp. today reported strong results for the second quarter, setting up the second half of 2019 for continued growth.

GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Valley State University received a $2.8 million federal grant to train nurse practitioners who will work in rural and underserved markets.

GRAND RAPIDS — SpendMend LLC is the newest tenant at Cascade Office Park, Portage-based The Hinman Co. announced Friday.

MUSKEGON — American Chemical Solutions plans to breathe new life into an idled chemical manufacturing plant on the lakeshore.

HOLLAND — Graham Packaging Company LP, a manufacturer of plastic containers and packaging, plans to cease operations and permanently close its plant in Holland. 

Backed by an infusion of $55 million in federal funds, Lansing-based Michigan Community Capital plans to continue investing in mixed-income housing projects across the state. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Joe Manica took over this month as president and CEO at United Bank.

CALEDONIA — Parent company Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. has entered a definitive agreement to sell its Caledonia-based Aspen Surgical business unit to a private equity firm for $170 million in cash.

ALLEGAN — Perrigo Co. plc completed the sale of its animal health business for $185 million to PetIQ LLC, an Eagle, Idaho-based pet health and wellness company.

KALAMAZOO — SalesPage Technologies LLC acquired Advisor Atlas, a data provider to asset management and financial services firms.

GRAND RAPIDS — Tensions between Michigan craft beverage producers and the state regulatory agency appear to be ratcheting up with the filing of a new federal lawsuit, MiBiz has learned. 

Unseasonably rainy weather coupled with near record-high Great Lakes water levels have left many West Michigan business owners hoping the region will dry out in time to salvage the season for visitors and tourists.

If a remedy ever comes, The Employers’ Association still wants to offer members an option for employee health coverage.

GRAND RAPIDS — The opportunity to lease brand new office space in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids offered Van Wyk Risk Solutions the chance to grow into a new location. 

Michigan’s largest utilities are giving a substantial boost to an economic development program launched by former Gov. Rick Snyder, committing to spend billions of additional dollars with in-state suppliers over the next five years.

“Please see attached.” That’s the email employees at Grand Rapids-based Kindel Furniture Co. Inc. received from a company vice president in late April. Within a few minutes, two people had tried to open the included attachment and replied back to the apparent sender that they were having trouble.

GRAND RAPIDS — Nearly every guest who spends the night at a hotel room in downtown Grand Rapids sleeps on the same mattress. 

KALAMAZOO — The last time Bronson Methodist Hospital hired a new CEO, the organization operated a single hospital with an assortment of outpatient clinics in the Kalamazoo area.

WYOMING — A 92-acre shovel-ready industrial property sits empty about five miles south of downtown Grand Rapids, even amid a shortage of available manufacturing spaces across West Michigan.

After two decades with the city of Grand Rapids, most recently as managing director of design, development and community engagement, Suzanne Schulz plans to leave the public sector for an urban planning practice leader position at Grand Rapids-based Progressive AE Inc. Schulz will work her last day at the city on Sept. 6.  In her current role, Schulz is in a powerful position to oversee development projects throughout the city, especially after a period of strong growth in the years after the Great Recession. Schulz spoke with MiBiz about how changes in land development practices have affected the city, and what she is most looking forward to in the private sector.

Officials studying commuter transit options between Grand Rapids and Holland are hoping to make West Michigan more competitive when it comes to talent attraction.

While flooding and erosion are wreaking havoc for waterfront businesses and property owners, the changes are creating business opportunities for local marine construction and dock companies, who say they’ve been busy with scheduled projects and inundated with calls in recent weeks.

Time has run out for about 10 percent of crops in the state, as Michigan farmers face delays related to one of the wettest spring seasons on record. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Securing a top rating for financial stability could boost business for a West Michigan company that underwrites product liability insurance coverage for the cannabis industry.

Commercial bankers say clients’ demand for credit remains strong, although borrowers in West Michigan are carefully watching what’s ahead for the economy.

After issuing a steady string of interest rate increases over the last three years, the Federal Reserve could start lowering rates again in the coming months in a move to keep the economy growing, making borrowing a little cheaper for businesses.

Initially seeded with state money seven years ago to provide financing to growing Michigan-based businesses, Grow Michigan LLC expects to begin seeking investors for a second fund totaling nearly $60 million.

GRAND RAPIDS — Bethany Christian Services Inc. faces a difficult challenge in trying to ensure that unaccompanied migrant children who cross the border into the United States avoid any long-term effects from the detention process.

Trudy Ender joined Susan G. Komen Michigan on July 1 as its executive director. In her new role, she leads the local affiliate of the Dallas, Texas-based Susan G. Komen for the Cure Breast Cancer Foundation, which works to support research, as well as cancer screenings, diagnostics, education, outreach, and support services for patients and survivors. Susan G. Komen Michigan served more than 85,000 people last year in 24 counties across the state. Ender, who previously served as executive director of the Humane Society of West Michigan after working for years in the public sector, spoke with MiBiz about her vision for the statewide nonprofit. 

Here is the growth report for July 8, 2019:

KALAMAZOO — Western Michigan University has the green light to begin selling parcels in the second phase of its Business Technology and Research Park.

WYOMING — A Grand Rapids-area manufacturer of planters will be relocating to Nebraska after a sale to Headwind Consumer Products. 

ALLEGAN — Perrigo Co. plc today closed on the $750 million cash acquisition of Grand Rapids-based Ranir Global Holdings LLC.

GRAND RAPIDS — Office furniture dealer and custom manufacturer Custer Inc. has opened a pair of new showroom spaces in West Michigan.

GRANDVILLE — West Michigan Dermatology has acquired The Dermatology Center of Grand Rapids PC.

HOLLAND — A West Michigan recycler has acquired Howell-based Regal Recycling Inc. 

A new sentiment survey finds business owners still feel good about present conditions, despite outlooks for slower economic growth and ongoing worries about talent and health care costs.

GRAND RAPIDS — Priority Health is considering its next moves for two properties adjacent to its corporate headquarters at Leonard Street and East Beltline Avenue.

GRAND RAPIDS — Two senior officials are planning to leave the city’s planning and development departments for new opportunities, MiBiz has learned.

PORTAGE — Auto insurer State Farm plans to eliminate 247 jobs in Kalamazoo County with the planned closing of an operations center by Aug. 31.