Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for June 25, 2018.
• M&A: Grand Rapids-based trucking firm Super Service LLC has been sold to J&R Schugel Inc., a transportation services company headquartered in New Ulm, Minn. Private equity firm Wayzata Investment Partners of Wayzata, Minn. has owned Super Service since its founding in 2009 when the firm bought the former Gainey Corp. at auction for $77.8 million and merged it with the affiliated GTS Transportation Services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The employee-owned J&R Schugel plans to convert Super Service to an employee-ownership model for eligible drivers and non-driving employees, according to a statement. The new owner also expects to “replace the existing Super Service fleet with hundreds of trucks and trailers” over the next several months. The company wouldn’t say what effect the deal would have on Super Service operations at its Grand Rapids headquarters.
• M&A: Grand Rapids-based Restaurant Partners Inc. acquired Wyoming, Mich.-based Noble Restaurant, an eatery owned by Andrew Lamppa that specializes in “healthy lifestyle dining.” Noble will join Restaurant Partners’ 11 other brands. The restaurant, located at 1851 44th St. SW in Wyoming, focused on “honest scratch cooking” that caters to various dietary needs — including vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free — as well as healthy options. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
• M&A: Holland-based JR Automation Technologies LLC acquired Auburn Hills-based Esys Automation LLC, a full-service automation solutions provider, its fourth acquisition in six months. According to JR Automation Chairman and CEO Mike DuBose, the deal for Esys Automation will further build the company’s “leading-edge global solutions platform” while “providing ‘Industry 4.0’ solutions to our customers.” Prior to Esys, JR Automation acquired the Ogden, Utah-based Setpoint Systems and Setpoint Inc. in April, and the automation systems business of Waverly, Iowa-based Doerfer Corp. in December. JR Automation is owned by the New York-based private equity firm Crestview Partners.
• M&A: Security systems provider EPS Security has purchased the operations of Comstock Park-based Video-Tech-Tronics Inc., according to a statement. The deal, which closed last month, will help the Grand Rapids-based EPS Security boost its market share among residential and commercial clients, according to a statement. The family-owned EPS Security added 1,500 customers with the acquisition, bringing its customer base to more than 28,300 spanning Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, the company said. Terms of the deal, which did not include VTT’s operations at 859 West River Center Drive, were not disclosed.
• Investment: Grand Rapids-based Burke Porter Group has made an undisclosed capital investment in Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Grabit Inc., a provider of automation systems for soft goods manufacturers and warehouse logistics sectors. The exclusive license agreement for Grabit’s intelligent electroadhesion robotics systems helps expand Burke Porter’s advanced manufacturing capabilities in soft goods — including carbon fiber materials. The agreement also includes an exclusive manufacturing licensing agreement for Grabit’s Stackit line of automated material stacking systems.
• Expansion: Repair Center LLC, which does business as Tech Defenders, says it will invest $2.7 million into a 73,000-square-foot facility at 601 Maryland Ave. NW in Grand Rapids, where it expects to create 115 jobs. The move will help alleviate current capacity constraints for the company, and offer it more room for operations and storage, according to a statement from The Right Place Inc. Tech Defenders currently employs 120 people. The company mostly works with school districts nationwide on the protection and repair of classroom-based mobile devices. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. provided a performance-based $172,500 Michigan Business Development grant to support the project.