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Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: August 1, 2021

BY Sunday, August 01, 2021 12:21pm

Here is the MiBiz growth report for August 1, 2021.

M&A

  • Blackford Capital-owned Boston Trade Interior Solutions, an Illinois-based provider of interior design, procurement and project management services for the hospitality industry, acquired the assets of Marietta, Ga.-based interior design and architecture firm Design Environments Corp. The acquisition came through Boston Trade, a division of private equity firm Blackford Capital’s Hospitality Consolidation Co. portfolio holding company. Design Environments is an interior design firm that specializes in interior architecture and merchandising of model homes, clubhouses and amenity/sales facilities throughout the United States. Dickinson Wright PLLC, Honigman LLP and King & Spalding LLP served as legal advisers on the deal.
  • Benton Harbor-based Abonmarche Consultants Inc., an engineering, architecture, and surveying firm, has acquired Milanowski & Englert Engineering and Surveying Inc. Milanowski & Englert is an engineering and surveying firm founded in Grand Haven nearly 30 years ago. The office will be renamed Abonmarche, Milanowski & Englert, according to local reports. Abonmarche now has 10 offices in Southwest Michigan and northern Indiana.
  • Belding-based BelleHarvest Sales Inc., a grower-owned distributor of fresh apples, recently acquired Comstock Park-based produce sales company Michigan Fresh Marketing LLC. Founded in 1957, BelleHarvest now stands as the second largest apple shipper in the state, operating from nine apple packing lines. With the acquisition, the company also now has a locally grown vegetable program. The combined company will continue to market under both brands.

Expansion

  • Indiana-based Thor Industries Inc., the parent company of Cruiser RV LLC and Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC, plans to invest $35.9 million for two new manufacturing campuses in the city of Sturgis. To support the investment, which is expected to add 450 new jobs, the Michigan Strategic Fund board is providing the company with a pair of performance-based $700,000 Michigan Business Development Program grants for each of the subsidiaries’ facilities. The Heartland RV expansion has also received more than $307,000 in a state Transportation Economic Development Fund grant to support infrastructure improvements with the project. 
  • Grand Rapids-based The Mitten Brewing Co. LLC has leased a 1,600-square-foot suite at 6051 Belding Road NE in Cannon Township where it will open a new takeout and delivery concept called Mitten Pizza Co. The location, which will not offer alcohol, will also feature signature dishes from Comstock Park-based Amore Trattoria Italiana for takeout and delivery. The partners are targeting a Sept. 1 opening.
  • SHEFIT Inc., a Hudsonville-based business that was founded in 2010 and featured on television show Shark Tank for its innovative sports bra design, announced the location for its new national headquarters. In partnership with Grand Rapids-based Advantage Commercial Real Estate, SHEFIT announced that it purchased land at 3525 Quincy St. in Hudsonville, where it plans to create a 75,000 square foot facility. “We are excited to see the positive impact our new Hudsonville location will have on our business and operations,” said SHEFIT CEO Bob Moylan.
  • Kalamazoo-based Zeigler Automotive Group is expanding into Wisconsin. The dealership, which maintains 35 locations in Michigan, Indiana and
     Illinois, announced that it has purchased four new dealerships from Wisconsin-based
    Home Run Auto Group. The deal closed on July 26 and includes Honda of Racine, Toyota of Racine, Racine Hyundai and Kenosha Subaru. Zeigler Automotive Group did not previously own Toyota or Hyundai franchises. The acquisitions will add about 14,000 vehicle sales a year for Zeigler.

Capital Raise

  • Grand Rapids-based sports technology firm MaxOne LLC raised $3.5 million in capital, which includes an investment from professional basketball star Chris Paul. MaxOne CEO and co-founder Jason Mejeur said the Series A round of financing would be used to fund growth and expansion for the company, which developed an app for coaches, trainers and organizations to create customized videos for athlete training and conditioning purposes. St. Louis-based Stadia Ventures led the funding round. Billed as a sports innovation hub, Stadia Ventures consists of an accelerator, consulting and investment components. Grand Rapids-based Wakestream Ventures LLC also invested in the round along with Piquet Family Office, a minority owner of the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball team.
  • TiiCKER, a financial technology startup based in Detroit and backed primarily by West Michigan investors, closed on a $2 million capital raise. The pre-seed funding included venture capital and high net worth investors such as Red Cedar Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of the East Lansing-based MSU Foundation. Co-founded by Jeff Lambert, CEO of Grand Rapids investor relations and public relations firm Lambert & Co., TiiCKER offers a platform for public companies to connect with retail investors and provide them perks and content on trading. 

Finance

  • Financial planning and wealth management firm The Grandville Group at Waddell & Reed announced this month that it has changed its name to Plan It Financial Group. The Grandville-based company decided on the name change after parent company Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. was recently sold to LPL Financial Holdings Inc. Plan It Financial Group will maintain the same office location.

Health care

  • Metro Health-University of Michigan Health and Mercy Health have finalized a joint operating agreement to partner on heart care. The two health systems have also named leaders for the new Cardiovascular Network of West Michigan that will launch a new open-heart surgery program. Dr. Himanshu Patel, a University of Michigan Health cardiac surgeon and a professor of cardiac surgery, will serve as executive director of the Cardiovascular Network of West Michigan. Patel is also section head of adult cardiac surgery at University of Michigan Health’s Frankel Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor. The new organization hopes to begin performing open-heart surgery at Metro Health Hospital next summer.

Life sciences

  • Mark Gurney retired as CEO of drug developer Tetra Therapeutics Inc. at the end of June, more than a year after selling the company to Japan-based pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co. Ltd. Tetra Chief Operating Officer Chad Coberly succeeded Gurney as CEO on July 1. Coberly has more than 30 years of experience in the biotech industry and joined the company in 2017. He assisted in managing Tetra’s phase 2 clinical trial of a new compound to treat Fragile X syndrome and other brain disorders associated with cognitive or memory conditions. He also assisted with the merger into Shionogi in May 2020.

Law

  • Grand Rapids-based law firm Warner Norcross + Judd LLP has opened its new offices on the seventh floor of the Warner Building at 180 E. Water St. in downtown Kalamazoo. The space will house 22 attorneys and staff, including the firm’s eDiscovery Center. Other tenants in the seven-story building, owned and managed by Kalamazoo-based Catalyst Development Co., are Southwest Michigan First, Stryker Johnston Foundation, The Kalamazoo Promise and Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the correct location of SHEFIT’s new headquarters at 3525 Quincy St. in Hudsonville.

Read 1624 times Last modified on Monday, 02 August 2021 11:51
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