Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: February 1, 2021

BY Monday, February 01, 2021 12:26pm

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for February 1, 2021.


  • Lansing-based Air Lift Co., a manufacturer of air suspension systems, has acquired Flo Airride Mfg. LLC, a Temecula, Calif.-based manufacturer of air tanks used for aftermarket truck modifications intended to lower vehicles. The deal also included the rights to Slam’d Magazine, a publication serving the niche automotive enthusiast community, according to a statement. Under the terms of the deal, Flo Airride’s manufacturing will move from a facility in Oklahoma to Air Lift’s operations in Lansing. Former Flo Airride owner and founder Mike Alexander also joined Air Lift as performance brand manager. The acquisition enables Air Lift to deepen its market presence in the lowered vehicle segment, President Kevin Mehigh said in a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • London, U.K.-based Prudential plc plans to spinoff Lansing-based Jackson Financial Inc., which includes Jackson National Life Insurance Co., also in Lansing, and global financial firm PPM America Inc. in Chicago. Prudential said the spinoff would separate Jackson earlier than a planned minority initial public offering. Under the spinoff, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, Prudential would retain a 19.9-percent stake in Jackson Financial that it intends to divest over time. After the separation, Jackson expects to list on the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker “JXN.” Prudential also appointed Steven Kandarian, the former CEO of MetLife, as non-executive chair of Jackson’s board of directors.
  • Marshall Excelsior Co., a manufacturer of engineered flow control products based in Marshall in south-central Michigan, acquired the assets of Tampa, Fla.-based CPC-Cryolab and Rockwood Swendeman, a pair of brands owned by Burlington, Mass.-based CIRCOR International Inc. (NYSE: CIR). CPC-Cryolab manufactures liquid hydrogen and liquid helium valves, while Rockwood Swendeman makes cryogenic safety relief valves. The deal allows Marshall Excelsior to expand its capabilities into the cryogenics market, according to a statement. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Marshall Excelsior Co. is a portfolio company of Harbour Group, a St. Louis, Mo.-based multinational private equity firm.
  • Ambler, Pa.-based Bradford White Corp., a manufacturer of water and space heating equipment for a range of sectors that operates plants in Middleville and Niles, acquired Keltech Inc. from the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Bradley Corp., according to a statement. Based in Delton in Barry County, Keltech manufactures commercial and industrial tankless electric water heaters. Along with the deal, Bradford White also plans to begin supplying Bradley Corp. with tankless electric water heaters for its emergency eye wash and safety shower stations. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Feyen Zylstra LLC, a Grand Rapids-based electrical services and industrial technology firm, has expanded its footprint into North Carolina with the acquisition of Dynics Services Group, a division of Ann Arbor-based Dynics Inc. Dynics specializes in industrial grade computer hardware, visualization software, network security, network monitoring and software defined networking solutions. Both Feyen Zylstra and Dynics have maintained a working relationship. Terms of the deal, which was finalized on Jan. 6, were not disclosed.


  • The newly rebranded Bodwé Professional Services Group, a division of Mno-Bmadsen, the Dowagiac-based non-gaming investment arm of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, spun off Steelhead Engineering Co. from Kalamazoo-based Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering. Steelhead is a provider of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and engineering services. The company employs eight engineers and recently moved into new office space at 259 E. Michigan Ave. in Kalamazoo, aided by a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. As well, Bodwé partnered with Scott Moore y Medina, the founder of Tulsa, Okla.-based architecture and design firm Blue Star Integrative Studio, to create a new Michigan-registered company under the same name. Moore y Medina brought his portfolio and brand with him and joined the new entity. Bodwé was advised on the deal by Grand Rapids-based law firm Varnum LLP. The new company expands Bodwé’s geographic reach and talent pipeline. 
  • Grand Haven-based UV Angel has partnered with select McDonald’s locations in Dallas, Houston and Chicago to deploy its UV Angel Clean Air product, which uses ultraviolet light technology to kill off pathogens on surfaces and in the air. Another product, called Adapt, mounts directly to high touch areas like touch screens and keyboards, using the ultraviolet rays to sanitize those surfaces.

Health care

  • Metro Health – University of Michigan Health opened a new outpatient center on East Beltline Avenue just north of Lake Drive in East Grand Rapids. Metro Health Beltline replaces a smaller clinic on Cascade Road and includes heart and vascular specialists. At 30,500 square feet, the office is Metro Health’s largest primary care site and has the capacity to accommodate up to 20 providers and care for 400 to 500 patients a day. The center houses family practice, sports and internal medicine, behavioral health and diabetes education, X-ray and a lab, adult and pediatric heart, and vascular specialists and services.
  • Mercy Health opened a new $19 million outpatient medical center in Norton Shores for primary care physicians; behavioral health; X-ray; labs; Lakeshore Laser and Aesthetics; and physical, occupational and speech therapy. A pharmacy and urgent care center will open at a later date. The site consolidated three primary care physician practices — Harborwood Family Medicine, Harbour Pointe and Norton Family Practice — into one location. Mercy Health opened similar facilities in North Muskegon and Hudsonville in 2018. The Norton Shores facility was designed by Brighton-based Lindhout Associates Architects P.C. Holland-based EV Construction served as the general contractor.


  • Mercantile Bank of Michigan donated a former branch office in downtown Ionia to the Ionia Community Library. Ownership of the building, a two-story neoclassical structure built in 1913 with a temple front and two-story limestone columns, will transfer in March. Mercantile Bank continues to operate two Ionia locations.


  • The Steelcase Foundation named Daniel Williams as president. Williams starts at the foundation on Feb. 22. He most recently served as president and CEO of the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology in Grand Rapids. The Steelcase Foundation is an endowed foundation independent from Steelcase Inc. that the company’s founders and original directors formed in 1951. The foundation supports projects that “drive systemic change in our communities” and awarded more than $5 million in grants in the last fiscal year.
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