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Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: July 4, 2021

BY Sunday, July 04, 2021 12:49pm

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for July 4, 2021.

M&A

  • Traverse City-based Hagerty Insurance Agency Inc., an insurer of classic cars and high-end automobiles, has bolstered its lineup of automotive events with the acquisition of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, according to a statement. Bill Warner, the founder of the Florida-based classic car show with a strong motorsports theme, will remain as chairman emeritus. Hagerty plans to expand the annual event, which will take place next in March 2022. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hagerty’s previous automotive event acquisitions include the Concours d’Elegance of America, the California Mille and the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance. “Our objective is to knit the enthusiast community together in a way that supports and protects the future of car culture,” Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty said in a statement.
  • Troy-based Rose Pest Solutions has acquired Collier’s Pest Control Inc., a Traverse City-based family-owned company founded by Gary Collier in 1976, according to a statement. The sale will allow Collier to semi-retire. In the deal, Rose Pest Solutions will expand its footprint by adding Collier’s Pest Control’s clients in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Kalkaska counties. The company plans to move into a larger facility in the Traverse City area, but will operate from Collier’s Pest Control’s existing office in the interim.
  • New York City-based private equity firm Blue Wolf Capital Partners has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Novo Building Products LLC. Blue Wolf plans to sell Zeeland-based Novo, which manufactures and distributes specialty building products like moulding, millwork and stair parts, to Hardwoods Distribution Inc., one of North America’s leading distributors for architectural grade building products. Blue Wolf acquired Novo in 2016 from publicly traded, New Zealand-based timber products manufacturer Tenon Limited, which has since been delisted and liquidated. 
  • Cascade Township-based RedWater Collection continues to expand its portfolio of restaurants with a signed purchase agreement to acquire The Butler restaurant in Saugatuck. The Butler, located at 40 Butler St., has a 60-year history in the community and now stands as the 10th restaurant in RedWater’s portfolio. 

Expansion

  • Grand Rapids-based coworking space Little Space Studio LLC is expanding with another facility in Zeeland. The company’s Grand Rapids location at 111 S. Division Ave. launched in a testing phase in 2019 and shifted to a more digital format during the pandemic as in-person office spaces were largely closed. The company is leasing and renovating 20,000 square feet of currently vacant space at the former Royal Casket Co. building near downtown Zeeland.
  • New Standard cannabis company has opened its sixth dispensary in West Michigan with a newly built retail store in Saugatuck Township. The dispensary is located at 6406 Blue Star Highway near downtown Saugatuck and carries more than 275 products for retail and curbside service. New Standard opened its first location in Hazel Park in April 2020, and recently acquired Agri-Med LLC, which was operating three dispensaries in Muskegon, Edmore and Nunica that have now taken on the New Standard Name.
  • Automotive supplier American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. received state backing for an expansion project in Southwest Michigan that could lead to the creation of 100 new manufacturing jobs. The Michigan Strategic Fund board recently approved tax relief that will allow American Axle to expand operations at its Three Rivers facility to produce advanced front and rear drive axle assembly systems as part of a newly awarded, eight-year program. The Tier 1 auto supplier, which is headquartered in Detroit, will manufacture the axle systems for two pickup truck programs, producing 130,000 front drive and 174,000 rear drive axles per year. The expansion is expected to create 100 new jobs at a Three Rivers facility, where the company already employs around 1,000 people.
  • Storage system manufacturer Speedrack Products Group Ltd. is expanding its Michigan operations with a nearly $65 million investment in Walker. The pallet racking and storage company plans to create 160 new jobs at the new facility planned at 3060 South Industrial Drive NW in Walker. Speedrack was founded in 1954 in Skokie, Ill., but established its headquarters in Alpine Township in 1989. The company employs nearly 300 people and has manufactured all of its vertical rack storage units in Michigan for the last 20 years between two industrial sites in Quincy and Litchfield.

Health Care

  • Bronson Healthcare will partner with Franklin, Tenn.-based Acadia Healthcare Co. to construct a new 96-bed psychiatric hospital in Battle Creek. Construction will start this fall on the $35 million facility planned for a 25-acre site at Glenn Cross Road and M-66 that will integrate physical and mental health care. Bronson will transition inpatient behavioral health care for adults from the Fieldstone Center in Battle Creek to the new facility when it opens in early 2023.
  • Metro Health — University of Michigan Health has been renamed to University of Michigan Health-West in what health system officials say is a “natural next step” that will help “fulfill our destiny.” “It’s just the next step in terms of greater alignment and integration while keeping our identity local as well,” CEO Dr. Peter Hahn told MiBiz. The health system’s board unanimously approved the name change on June 8. It’s the latest chapter in the system’s 80-year history that began in 1942 as Grand Rapids Osteopathic Hospital.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan joined four other Blues plans across the U.S. to form a new venture that seeks to reduce high prescription drug costs. The newly created Evio Pharmacy Solutions will essentially analyze claims trends to identify how well drugs work for the more than 20 million members of the five Blues plans. The idea is to drive physicians and consumers to use medications that work best for their medical conditions to improve cost and quality.

Finance

  • Several West Michigan credit unions and community lenders received a combined $13.2 million in federal funding that they can use to assist underserved businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding to federally designated community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, from the U.S. Treasury Department’s CDFI Rapid Response Program was made available in response to the economic effects of the pandemic. The funding went to CDFIs that offer programs for underserved communities. CDFIs can use the funding for activities such as financial products and services, development services, and certain operations that include building capital and loan-loss reserves.

Manufacturing

  • Wolverine World Wide Inc.’s leadership succession plan involves President Brendan Hoffman transitioning to CEO at the end of the year, company officials recently announced. Hoffman will succeed CEO and Board Chairman Blake Krueger, who joined Wolverine in 1993 and has served as CEO since 2007. The Rockford-based Wolverine, which operates a global portfolio of footwear and lifestyle brands, named Hoffman president of the company in September of 2020. Hoffman oversees Wolverine’s brands and direct-to-consumer business. Prior to beginning his tenure with Wolverine, Hoffman served as CEO of Vince Holding Corp., a New York-based fashion brand.
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