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Published in Economic Development

Kerkstra Precast bought by Minneapolis construction company

BY Thursday, April 01, 2021 03:21pm

GRANDVILLE — Kerkstra Precast Inc., a producer of precast and prestressed concrete products in Michigan, has new owners. 

Founded in 1962 and headquartered in Grandville, Kerkstra Precast announced Wednesday that it had been acquired by private equity-backed Fabcon Precast LLC, based in Minneapolis, Minn.

Kerkstra serves the industrial, commercial, residential and infrastructure markets throughout the Midwest. The company’s product offerings include architectural wall panels, hollowcore planks, beams, columns, double tees and stairs. 

In addition to a Grandville location, Kerkstra also maintains a location just outside of Detroit. 

Carrying out the sale during the COVID-19 pandemic “made some areas more difficult,” particularly in getting executives from the two companies together, Kerkstra CFO Ken Bohnet told MiBiz. The pandemic also made it more difficult to understand what the true markets for the companies will look like going forward because of how the pandemic has increased the demand for construction materials.

Kerkstra has been growing its employee base since it added a second Southeast Michigan location in Trenton, and currently employs between 300-400 people across both locations, Bohnet said. 

The company does not anticipate major changes for employees in the short term, Bohnet said.

President and CEO Greg Kerkstra will also remain “very much involved” in the new entity going forward, Bohnet added.

“This transaction is an excellent opportunity for Kerkstra and its employees to align with Fabcon,” Kerkstra said in a statement. “We are confident that together the Kerkstra business will continue to thrive under Fabcon.”

Fabcon produces structural precast wall panels and provides end-to-end integrated capabilities for engineering and design, production, project management and construction. 

The acquisition strengthens Fabcon’s position in the precast market with seven manufacturing locations in Minnesota, Michigan, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. 

“For 59 years, Kerkstra has built a reputation as a trusted partner, providing total precast solutions to its broad customer base,” said Fabcon CEO Mike Rafi in a statement. 

Fabcon is backed by Solace Capital Partners, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based private equity firm focused on investing in lower middle market U.S. companies. Despite the private equity ownership, Fabcon was previously family-owned before that and shares many similarities with the family-owned Kerkstra Precast, Bohnet said. 

Kerkstra was advised on the deal by the law firm of Honigman LLP, as well as investment bank Cowen Inc.’s Detroit office.

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