Published in Economic Development

MiBiz growth report: July 21, 2019

BY MIBIZ STAFF Sunday, July 21, 2019 07:00pm

Here is the growth report for July 21, 2019.


  • Kalamazoo-based SalesPage Technologies LLC acquired Advisor Atlas Inc., a data provider to asset management and financial services firms. The acquisition gives Kalamazoo-based Advisor Atlas greater access to asset managers that operate more today in teams to serve clients. Advisor Atlas now operates as a division of SalesPage Technologies. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
  • Standish-based Globe Fire Sprinkler Corp. was acquired by Easton, Pa.-based Victaulic Co. in a deal that closed July 8, according to a statement. The family-owned Globe has manufactured fire sprinklers and valves for 105 years. Globe President Steven Worthington remains in his role after the sale to Victualic, which will bring “additional financial resources” to the company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Perrigo Co. plc, which is domiciled in Dublin, Ireland, but run from Allegan, completed the sale of its animal health business for $185 million to PetIQ LLC, an Eagle, Idaho-based pet health and wellness company. The divestiture is part of a broad plan by President and CEO Murray Kessler to transform Perrigo (NYSE: PRGO) into a company focused on consumer health care products and medications. The animal health business generated $93.9 million in net sales for Perrigo in 2018, down from $141.3 million in 2017, with adjusted earnings of 8 cents per share. 


  • Holland-based West Michigan International LLC and Holland-based Idealease of West Michigan LLC, a truck leasing and rental company, invested $6.7 million for a new 56,000-square-foot facility in Texas Township in Kalamazoo County, according to a report in Truck Parts and Service. The company expects to create up to 17 jobs with the expansion. 
  • Zeeland-based Artisan Medical Displays LLC, a manufacturer of medical display models, plans to invest more than $1.8 million to build a 20,000-square-foot facility on 84th Avenue in Zeeland Charter Township, creating up to 10 new jobs, according to the economic development organization Lakeshore Advantage Corp. The township approved a 12-year tax abatement for the expansion. Artisan Medical Displays produces implant replications, surgical trainers and customizable cases and bags.
  • Muskegon-based American Chemical Solutions LLC plans to breathe new life into an idled ESCO Co. LP chemical manufacturing plant on the lakeshore. The 20-acre site, which previously manufactured functional dyes for use in thermal and carbonless printing applications, was slated to be dismantled prior to ACS’s acquisition, according to a statement from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. ACS, which acquired the site and production assets, plans to resume functional dye manufacturing at the plant and provide contract manufacturing services. The company anticipates creating nearly 40 new full-time jobs and investing more than $15 million into the facility. The MEDC is helping to support the project with a $200,000 performance-based grant via the Michigan Business Development Program. 


  • Chemical Financial Corp.’s $3.6 billion acquisition of Wayzata, Minn.-based TCF Financial Corp. heads to a close Aug. 1 after receiving final federal regulatory approval. The Federal Reserve Board of Governors announced approval on July 16 of the all-stock deal that creates a bank with more than $46 billion in assets and 500 offices in nine states across the Midwest. Once the merger closes, the Detroit-based Chemical Financial will take on the TCF Financial name and trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol “TCF.” Under the deal announced in January, common shares of TCF Financial stock will convert into 0.5081 shares of the new company.

Higher ed

  • Grand Valley State University received a $2.8 million federal grant to train nurse practitioners who will work in rural and underserved markets. The four-year funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration will pay for 15 qualified students to enroll in the doctor of nursing program at the GVSU Kirkhof College of Nursing. The college will work on the initiative with Mercy Health Muskegon and McLaren Health. The college will co-design the clinical education with Mercy Health Muskegon and McLaren Health and focus on using technology to enhance care delivery and integrating mental health into primary care.

Real estate 

  • Trillium Investments LLC, a Grand Rapids-based multifamily investment and property management firm, has acquired the 160-unit Cottonwood Forest Apartments in Jenison. The $11.475 million transaction with Cottonwood Associates LLC closed on June 13, according to Georgetown Township property records. Trillium financed the deal in part with an $11 million short-term bank loan arranged by Cohen Financial, a division of SunTrust Bank. Trillium Investments used the financing to acquire the building and invest in upgrades, according to a statement. Once the properties have been renovated, Cohen expects to help the firm, a long-term client, to secure long-term financing. An affiliate of the investment firm, Trillium Cottonwood Owner LLC, raised nearly $4.6 million in equity via a private placement involving 30 investors, according to federal securities filings. 
  • Grand Rapids-based SpendMend LLC, which provides spending visibility and audit recovery services to the health care industry, will occupy a 31,000-square-foot building at Cascade Office Park, located at 2680 Horizon Drive SE in Grand Rapids. The park is owned and managed by Portage-based The Hinman Co. SpendMend had outgrown its previous 6,315-square-foot space and needed room to expand and hire more employees, according to a statement. NAI Wisinski of West Michigan represented SpendMend in the transaction. The headquarters move comes after SpendMend received a majority recapitalization investment in January 2018 from Sheridan Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm, as MiBiz previously reported. SpendMend later acquired a California-based health care audit firm in August. 


  • Backed by an infusion of $55 million in federal funds, Lansing-based Michigan Community Capital plans to continue investing in mixed-income housing projects across the state. The funding comes via the latest $3.5 billion round of New Markets Tax Credit awards from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. The nonprofit Michigan Community Capital, which is supported by the Michigan Strategic Fund and various private-sector entities, including financial institutions and philanthropy, lends to and invests in a range of housing projects across the state. In the most recent round, Lansing-based Cinnaire Corp., which works nationally, received $195 million in New Markets Tax Credit funding, while Invest Detroit received $15 million. 


  • Graham Packaging Co. LP, a manufacturer of plastic containers and packaging, plans to cease operations and permanently close its plant in Holland. According to a notification the company sent to the state Workforce Development Agency, the shutdown will affect all 33 active hourly employees and nine active salaried employees at the location. In September, Graham Packaging will begin permanent layoffs at the Holland facility, located at 9263 Waverly Road. Final production will conclude in October, according to the company. The company also is closing plants with similar operations in Virginia and California. Graham Packaging generates $2 billion in domestic annual sales, according to data from Plastics News.


  • Tremaine Phillips received an appointment to the Michigan Public Service Commission last week from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Phillips, who will move back to his home state of Michigan to take the position, currently serves as director of the Cincinnati 2030 District. His prior experience includes working as vice president of strategic initiatives for Ohio-based Empower Gas and Electric LLC and as the assistant deputy director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. “His diverse background will give him the knowledge and insight to be successful in his new role and is supported by a broad array of stakeholders from environmental groups to business organizations,” Whitmer said in a statement. Phillips’ appointment, which is subject to the advice and consent of the state Senate, will start Sept. 9 and run through July 2, 2025. 
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