Published in Economic Development

Growth Report: January 18, 2020

BY MIBIZ STAFF Saturday, January 18, 2020 01:20pm

This is the growth report for January 18, 2020.

M&A

  • Grand Rapids-based pallet management firm Kamps Inc. has sold a majority interest to Los Angeles, Calif.-based private equity firm Freeman Spogli & Co. Founder and CEO Bernie Kamps continues to lead the company and remains a significant shareholder. Other members of Kamps’ management team also participated in the transaction. Kamps manages more than 100 million pallets annually for more than 1,800 customers. Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey PLC in Grand Rapids acted as the legal adviser to Kamps, and Lincoln International was lead financial adviser. Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP served as the legal adviser to Freeman Spogli. Debt financing for the acquisition was provided by Oaktree Capital Management L.P., Adams Street Partners LLC and Comerica Inc. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
  • Zeigler Automotive Group expects to add $350 million in annual sales with the planned acquisition of three luxury dealerships in the northwest suburbs of Chicago: Mercedes-Benz and Sprinter of Hoffman Estates, Infiniti of Hoffman Estates, and Jaguar Land Rover of Schaumburg. Zeigler Automotive expects to finalize the deal with Motor Werks Auto Group owners Mick Austin and Paul Tamraz on Jan. 20. Motor Werks Auto Group is retaining its stores in Barrington, Ill. The deal, which will add an expected 5,000 new units of sales, is Zeigler’s largest deal to date, according to the company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 
  • Lansing-based food and animal safety products manufacturer Neogen Corp. (Nasdaq: NEOG) has acquired Argentina-based Productos Quimicos Magiar S.A., a longtime distributor in South America. The deal positions Neogen to take over the distribution of its products in Argentina and Uruguay, according to a statement. Neogen also completed a deal for Italy-based Diessechem S.R.L., a distributor of food and feed safety diagnostic products. The company plans to maintain Diessechem’s operations in Milan, and to bring on key employees. Terms of both deals were not disclosed.
  • Wyoming, Mich.-based real estate appraisal firm Genzink Appraisal Co. has been acquired by Denver, Colo.-based Integra Realty Resources, a commercial real estate valuation and consulting firm. The company will operate from an office at 1009 44th St. SW in Wyoming, its second in Michigan. In the deal, founder Jeffrey Genzink became a shareholder in Integra Realty, which also hired all of Genzink Appraisal’s employees. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • BBC Distributing LLC in Kalamazoo acquired Grand Rapids-based Premier Paper & Supplies, a regional distributor of point of sale products, paper supplies, and other non-durable goods. Premier Paper & Supplies’ owners, Jim and Pat Bonander, sold the company to retire. Grand Rapids-based Small Business Deal Advisors LLC served as M&A adviser to the sellers. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
  • Ranir, the oral care division of Perrigo Co. plc, purchased the assets of Steripod, a toothbrush accessory brand, from Culver City, Calif.-based Bonfit America Inc. The acquisition includes a portfolio of antibacterial toothbrush protectors, children’s products and tongue cleaners. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. 
  • SalesPage Technologies LLC made its second acquisition in seven months with a deal for SalesStation, a division of Milwaukee, Wis.-based Celera Systems LLC. The deal adds to the Kalamazoo-based SalesPage’s staffing in nine locations across the country. SalesStation, which serves asset management firms outsourcing data management and sales reporting, will maintain its primary office in Milwaukee. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
  • Grand Rapids Cardiology merged with Advanced Cardiac & Vascular Centers for Amputation Prevention PLC, also of Grand Rapids. Led by cardiologist Dr. Ronald VanderLaan, Grand Rapids Cardiology and its staff of 17 now practice under the Advanced Cardiac & Vascular Centers brand name. The cardiology practice continues to operate out of its office on East Beltline Avenue as ACV Grand Rapids Cardiology. Advanced Cardiac & Vascular Centers has 72 physicians and care professionals at two locations in Grand Rapids and one in Lansing. 
  • Chicago-based private equity firm DuneGlass Capital acquired a majority stake in and recapitalized the Kentwood-based Grand Health Partners, a bariatric and general surgery practice that provides medical and surgical weight loss. The deal marked DuneGlass’ first investment.
  • Grand Rapids-based public relations and investor relations firm Lambert & Co. acquired New York-based Casteel Schoenborn Investor Relations & Corporate Communications. The acquisition accelerates Lambert & Co.’s growth strategy and boosts its investor relations and financial services expertise, according to a statement. Lynn Casteel and Jeffrey Schoenborn, principals at Casteel Schoenborn, which is based in the Buffalo suburb of Williamsville, were named managing directors of Lambert & Co. as part of the transaction. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. 
  • Precise CNC Routing Inc., a family-owned and operated manufacturer based in Wyoming, Mich., has been acquired by local investors David and Carey Lefere. Precise CNC Routing employs 16-18 people and generates around $2 million in annual revenue. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Grand Rapids-based Calder Capital LLC served as the M&A adviser for former Precise CNC Routing CEO Rick Lemson.
  • Grand Rapids-based Auto-Wares Group of Companies, a family-owned aftermarket parts distributor and retailer, signed a definitive agreement to acquire four retail automotive parts stores and their inventories in metro Detroit and Kalamazoo from Kennessaw, Ga.-based Icahn Automotive Group LLC, according to a statement. The companies are aiming for a mid-January close for the deal, after which Auto-Wares will rebrand the locations to its Auto Value Parts Stores brand. Icahn Automotive will retain all of its Pep Boys-branded locations in Michigan and entered into a supply agreement for Auto-Wares to supply those service centers, according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Kalkaska-based American Waste signed a definitive agreement to sell its solid and liquid waste businesses in Michigan and Pennsylvania to Toronto-based GFL Environmental Inc., according to a statement. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be finalized in February. Owners Michael Ascione and Edward Ascione will be joining GFL to manage the American Waste businesses.
  • Priority Health has closed on the acquisition of Total Health Care Inc., a Detroit-based HMO. Under the deal, the two health plans will operate separately and maintain their brand names. Priority Health will continue to serve enrollees statewide, and Total Health Care will focus operations in Detroit and surrounding communities. Terms of the deal were undisclosed, although the Grand Rapids-based Priority Health has begun to establish a $25 million foundation to support health initiatives in the Detroit area.

Expansion

  • Low-cost carrier Allegiant Travel Co. plans to start direct service from Gerald R. Ford International Airport to Los Angeles, Boston and Austin, Texas. The new seasonal flights will operate twice weekly, according to a statement. Flights to Boston and Austin begin in May, while flights to Los Angeles will begin in June.

Higher ed

  • Students who attend high school in Grand Rapids will soon be able to continue their education for free at Grand Rapids Community College. Starting with the class of 2020, students who live and attend high school in the city can earn a certificate or associate degree at GRCC tuition-free under a plan approved by the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Authority board of directors. The Grand Rapids Promise Zone Scholarship also will cover the cost of books, supplies, and fees associated with courses. All 22 of the city’s public, public charter, or private high schools are included in the program. 
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