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Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: June 6, 2022

BY Sunday, June 05, 2022 06:28pm

Here is the MiBiz Growth report for June 6, 2022:

M&A

  • The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center plans to merge its regional offices in the Upper Peninsula and Traverse City later this summer. Marquette-based Northern Initiatives, a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that works with small businesses and entrepreneurs, currently houses MMTC-Upper Peninsula. Following the merger, Northern Initiatives plans to continue partnering with MMTC both in the Upper Peninsula and across the state. The MMTC, also referred to as The Center, was founded in 1991 to assist small and mid-size manufacturers throughout the state with a wide range of needs, from talent attraction and advanced technology adoption to unlocking efficiencies in their companies. 
  • A West Michigan information technology service provider has been acquired by a leading cybersecurity and tech firm that executives say will bring more resources and capital backing for growth. Rockledge, Fla.-based Valeo Networks acquired Norton Shores-based managed service provider Next I.T. LLC, company officials announced recently. Next I.T. marks Valeo’s sixth and largest acquisition as it builds out a nationwide network of cybersecurity and I.T. experts to serve its clients. 
  • Grand Rapids-based Century Flooring & Cleaning has been sold to Toledo, Ohio-based Clean Team Inc. Founded in 2003, Century Flooring & Cleaning first started out strictly as a flooring contractor, working with residential and commercial clients with flooring design, installation, maintenance and cleaning. The company eventually added janitorial services to its offering, servicing a wide range of clients that includes restaurants, hospitals and corporate offices. Century, which employs 10 full-time and 50 part-time workers, worked with Grand Rapids-based business brokerage Small Business Deal Advisors to complete the sale to Clean Team, a commercial janitorial company with 14 offices throughout the Midwest.
  • CSI Geoturf, a wholesale distributor of civil site construction geosynthetic and landscape supplies with locations in the Grand Rapids and Traverse City areas, has been acquired by Norcross, Ga.-based White Cap Supply Holdings LLC. White Cap Supply distributes concrete accessories and chemicals, building materials, fasteners, safety products and erosion and waterproofing products via 450 branches across North America. 

EXPANSION

  • JR Automation Technologies LLC — which designs, builds and integrates automated manufacturing and robotic technology on a global scale — plans to invest about $9.9 million to overhaul a 110,000-square-foot facility formerly operated by now-defunct Genzink Steel. The Michigan Strategic Fund board last month approved a $2.25 million Michigan Business Development Program grant in support of the project that promises to bring 140 new jobs to the area. JR Automation plans to renovate the facility at 40 E. 64th St. in Holland to create both production and office space. State grant funding will help offset the costs of new machinery and equipment.
  • Grand Rapids-based Woosah Outfitters and Outside Coffee Co. plan to open a lakeshore location in Douglas that also will offer various gear rentals. Co-owned by Rae Lang and wife Kelly Lang, Woosah — an outdoors-themed art and clothing retailer — and Outside Coffee operate on the same lot on Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids’ East Hills neighborhood. The new 2,000-square-foot location at 450 W. Center St. in Douglas will sell hand-carved art and apparel as well as coffee. The Douglas location also will offer beach toys and accessories as well as bicycle, beach chair and umbrella rentals. Rae Lang told MiBiz via email that the companies have secured the Douglas property under a long-term lease. The buildout begins this week, and the owners hope to open the Douglas location by June 24.
  • Hudsonville Creamery and Ice Cream Company LLC, which manufactures ice cream for its own brand as well as other national and regional brands, plans to invest $65.7 million in a multi-phase expansion at its Holland facility. The expansion will open up capacity for its growth in the novelty ice cream space and is expected to bring 76 new jobs to the company, which currently employs 172 people in Michigan. The investment includes the construction of additional manufacturing space in addition to renovating its existing facilities. The company, which received a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, will also invest in new machinery and equipment and build a new wastewater treatment plant. 

HEALTH CARE

  • Health Alliance Plan filled a significant gap in its West Michigan care provider network under a new deal with BHSH Spectrum Health West Michigan. Under the agreement, 11 Spectrum Health hospitals, 128 outpatient care locations, and 2,300 physicians and advanced practice providers will join the Detroit-based HAP’s statewide care network July 1. The deal announced last month covers all products that HAP offers, including the small employer group HMO that previously lacked a participating agreement with Spectrum Health. Filling that network gap could elevate HAP’s viability as an option for employers to consider for employee health coverage in the market that’s largely controlled by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Grand Rapids-based Priority Health.
  • Cancer & Hematology Centers of Western Michigan in Grand Rapids has partnered with Nashville, Tenn.-based OneOncology, a consortium for independent community oncology practices. Cancer & Hematology Centers of Western Michigan consists of 25 medical oncologists and 55 advanced practice providers at four offices in Grand Rapids, Holland and Muskegon. The partnership gives Cancer & Hematology Centers capabilities in analytics, clinical technology and national partnerships to expand services in cancer care, including an expansion of CAR-T therapies and theranostics. OneOncology also provides oncology practices a platform for group purchasing, operational optimization, practice growth, and clinical innovation. The company has 700 cancer care providers at 181 sites nationwide.

FINANCE

  • Local investors joined an $82 million capital round for a company that began in Kalamazoo and developed an ecologically friendly pesticide. The 17 investors came together through Charter-Vestaron II LLC to invest nearly $2.2 million in Vestaron Corp., which maintains research and development operations in Kalamazoo but three years ago moved the corporate offices to Durham, N.C. A special purpose entity that formed specifically to make an investment in Vestaron, Charter-Vestaron II consists of many West Michigan investors who backed the company a decade ago in its earliest stages and wanted to continue supporting the company.
  • Grand Rapids-based insurance brokerage and fintech Acrisure LLC has closed on a $725 million equity raise that will fund further global expansion. The preferred equity offering valued Acrisure at $23 billion. The company said the proceeds from the offering will enable Acrisure to “continue pursuing value-accretive acquisitions, grow its tech-enabled solutions, increase marketing and brand awareness, and invest in human and technological infrastructure to support industry leading growth.” 
  • Toronto-based BMO Financial has opened a commercial banking office in Grand Rapids that will be led by BMO’s Michigan Managing Director James Hess. The office at 250 Monroe Ave. consists of five commercial bankers focusing on a wide variety of industries that include manufacturing, distribution, transportation, engineering and construction, food and business services. BMO is the eighth largest bank in North America with more than $1.02 trillion in total assets.
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