Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: March 15, 2020

BY MIBIZ STAFF Sunday, March 15, 2020 09:22am

MiBiz Growth Report for March 15, 2020.

M&A

  • Construction management firm The Christman Co. of Lansing has acquired MEDCO Construction, the construction arm of Dallas-based health system Baylor Scott & White Health. Baylor Scott & White Health operates the largest nonprofit health care system in Texas. MEDCO served as the in-house construction partner for Baylor Scott & White for more than 55 years and built medical centers for the company. Christman Co., which generates more than $1 billion in annual revenues and maintains an office in Grand Rapids, plans to expand its services in Texas and surrounding areas with the acquisition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Lansing-based Neogen Corp. (Nasdaq: NEOG), a food and animal safety products manufacturer, has acquired the food safety assets of Australia-based Cell BioSciences, its fourth international business acquisition this year. Cell BioSciences is a supplier of food safety and industrial microbiology products. The deal gives Neogen a direct sales presence across Australasia for its entire products portfolio. Neogen will rebrand the business under its own name and operate from Cell BioSciences’ location in Melbourne, while the company looks to centralize its operations in a future location, according to a statement. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
  • Chicago-based Boyd Group Inc. acquired eight collision repair centers in Michigan under the Vision Collision and McFall’s Collision & Frame Service brands in the Lansing and Flint areas, according to a statement. The deal also coincided with the purchase of six repair locations in Indiana. The Boyd Group operates non-franchised collision repair centers under the Gerber Collision & Glass brand, and operates several brands that sell automotive glass. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Grand Rapids-based drug developer Tetra Therapeutics has secured a new equity investment from Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co. Ltd. The deal involved Shionogi increasing its equity stake in the company by 50 percent. As well, Shionogi has an option to complete a structured buyout of the remaining equity in Tetra if certain conditions are met in the company’s Phase 2 trial of its BPN14770 compound in treating Alzheimer’s disease. The results of that Phase 2 trial, dubbed Picasso AD, are expected later this month. Advisers on the deal included Cooley LLP, Honigman LLP and Nomura Securities International Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 
  • Stevensville-based Boelcke Heating Co. has been acquired by employee John Nedoba, according to a statement. The sale allows former owner Dave Boelcke to retire from the company. Grand Rapids-based Calder Capital LLC served as the M&A adviser to Boelcke in the sale. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Investment

  • Grand Haven-based UV Angel secured a private equity investment from Bloomfield Hills-based Lionfish Investments to commercialize a new product that cleans the air in hospitals and other facilities. UV Angel Air uses the company’s ultraviolet light technology in ceiling light fixtures. Air goes in one side of the fixtures, passes under the ultraviolet light, and then exits clean on the other side. UV Angel Air also has applications in other settings beyond hospitals such as commercial buildings, schools, and perhaps even cruise ships. 
  • Grand Rapids-based Charter Capital Partners worked with an interested investor to start a small fund to put money into an out-of-state distillery that has ties to Michigan. Charter-HN Spirits Fund LLC recently closed on the first $785,000 raised from 14 investors, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund, consisting of individual investors and family offices, reported that it wants to raise a total of $2.5 million. Charter-HN Spirits Fund is the first foray into the craft distilling industry for the Grand Rapids-based investment bank and was set up for a specific investment, Managing Director Dale Grogan told MiBiz, noting the fund has already invested in three separate spirits brands.

Expansion

  • Grand Rapids-based Jedco Inc., a producer of complex sheet metal and machined fabrications, is expanding and planning to move from its current location in 2021 to support the company’s “tremendous growth” over the last few years. The Michigan Strategic Fund Board is contributing more than $1.9 million in collateral to a $16.7 million loan that Jedco and its NTN LLC subsidiary is receiving from Macatawa Bank. Jedco applied for the funds under the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Capital Access Program, which began in 2009 and assists small business and lending institutions by providing collateral support or loan participation.
  • Ada-based Dan Vos Construction Co. is building a new 18,000-square-foot, two-story headquarters on its existing property. The new facility is 50 percent larger than the company’s current offices and will provide room for the firm to grow, CEO Dan Vos told MiBiz. The company completed the design and is working on the construction of the new building, which showcases what the firm has to offer. Dan Vos Construction’s 95 employees will move into the new headquarters in late April. A spokesperson declined to say how much the company is investing in the project. 
  • Hiring an M&A adviser in the Chicago area expands Grand Rapids-based business broker Calder Capital LLC into new markets in the Midwest. Shane Kissack will work markets in northern Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, seeking to represent middle-market companies that are pursuing a sale. Kissack, an entrepreneur who’s started and sold two businesses, is the first adviser for Calder Capital outside of Grand Rapids. Calder Capital focuses on representing smaller businesses and handling deals with a transaction value of $1 million to $20 million. The firm said it sees opportunity in the market that includes Chicago to represent small business owners seeking a sale and an exit. 

Real estate

  • Spectrum Health continues to amass more properties in the Monroe North business district near its planned $100 million Center for Transformation and Innovation, as MiBiz exclusively reported. Since the middle of January, the Grand Rapids health system has scooped up three additional properties in separate transactions for a total of $5.45 million, according to property records. The recent property acquisitions suggest Spectrum Health could be expanding its vision for the area around the Center for Transformation and Innovation, but for now, the health system is keeping mum. According to a spokesperson, Spectrum Health is continuing to finalize details in its plans for the properties and expects to share more information later in 2020. The acquisitions include 648 Bond Ave. NW, 711 Ionia Ave. NW, and 750 Ottawa Ave. NW, according to property records. 

Energy

  • Muskegon-based Chart House Energy LLC, in partnership with Maryland-based New Energy Equity, will install enough solar panels to offset nearly 47 percent of the electric consumption for the city of Muskegon Heights. The city will save more than $100,000 annually through electricity savings, according to project officials. The solar panels will be spread across five city-owned properties. The 645 kilowatts of solar will be installed at City Hall, the Department of Public Works, a water filtration plant and a pumping station. Construction is expected to start next month, pending final permitting and hiring, and may be completed by the end of June. New Energy Equity will finance the projects under an agreement that includes no upfront costs to the city.

Manufacturing

  • Grand Rapids-based Tier 1 automotive supplier Gill Industries Inc. plans to hold a public auction of some of its manufacturing equipment next month. The public auction, which is scheduled for 10 a.m., Tuesday, April 28, is the latest step in a string of recent restructuring efforts involving the company’s manufacturing plants and operations. At the public auction, Gill intends to sell off presses and other machinery from its Bond Avenue NW facility and assembly assets from another manufacturing operation at Avastar Park on Alpine Avenue in Walker, according to Maynards Capital LP, an appraiser and liquidator with operations in Southfield that will administer the sale. 
  • Caledonia-based Aspen Surgical Products Inc. named Jason Krieser as CEO. Krieser had served as interim CEO for seven months through the 2019 sale of Aspen Surgical Products by Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. to Boston-based Audax Private Equity for $170 million in cash. He also led the company in the December deal for Redmond, Wash.-based orthopedic products manufacturer Beatty Marketing & Sales LLP. Krieser aims to grow the business in what an announcement called a “meaningful way through acquisition, product line extensions, and new channel development.”

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