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Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: Nov. 7, 2022

BY Sunday, November 06, 2022 07:18pm

M&A

  • Grand Rapids-based Dytech Auto Group Inc., which does business as GreatWater 360 Auto Care, has acquired Auburn, Ind.-based Brian’s Automotive Repair Inc., a full-service repair garage for foreign and domestic vehicles. GreatWater 360 Auto Care operates several automotive repair facilities in the Midwest, including Dykstra’s Auto in the greater Grand Rapids area. The company has been actively investing in auto repair shops across the region, according to a statement. Dallas-based investment banking firm Generational Equity represented Brian’s Automotive Repair in the sale, which closed Oct. 28. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Craig’s Cruisers Inc., an operator of family amusement centers in West Michigan, has sold its locations in Wyoming, Holland Township and Norton Shores to private equity-backed Five Star Parks & Attractions of Branson, Mo. The deal did not include the Craig’s Cruisers location in Silver Lake. Founded in 1979 in Silver Lake, Craig’s Cruisers offers a range of attractions including go-karts, bumper boats, mini golf, laser tag and zip lines. According to a statement, the company was looking for the next step to grow the brand. Backed by Denver-based Fruition Partners LLC, Five Star Parks & Attractions now operates 19 locations in nine states. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • AGS Company Automotive Solutions LLC, a Norton Shores-based automotive aftermarket parts manufacturer, has acquired Alcoa, Tenn.-based BrakeQuip LLC, which offers products that allow users to make their own automotive tubes and hoses for brakes, clutches and power steering systems. BrakeQuip also supplies a range of specialty fittings and tools for brake technicians. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal marks the second acquisition this year for AGS Co., a portfolio company of Pittsburgh, Pa.-based private equity firm 3 Rivers Capital since 2016. 
  • Family-owned National Truck Brokers Inc., a Wyoming-based truckload carrier for grocery customers across seven Midwest states, has been acquired by Des Moines, Iowa-based Ruan Inc., one of the largest family-owned transportation and logistics companies in the U.S. Under the deal, NTB will operate as an independent entity and maintain its name and brand, leadership structure and facilities. Ruan provides contract and managed transportation, value-added warehousing and brokerage support services, and employs 5,000 people at more than 300 sites nationwide. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
  • Spring Lake-based EQI Ltd., a global provider of supply chain management services for heavy equipment OEMs who procure metal castings, has acquired Cambridge, Ontario-based Accucam Machining, a full-service component part supplier with two facilities in Canada and one in Qingdao, China. Under the deal, Accucam will operate as a division of EQI, which adds new customers in agriculture, turf care, defense and transportation. EQI will also add finish machining capabilities and small steel components to its product offerings. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Family-owned Bond Fluidaire Inc., a Grand Rapids-based distributor of pneumatic and hydraulic hardware, components and systems, has sold to New Hudson-based Exotic Automation & Supply. The deal comes after Bond Fluidaire has experienced “strong growth” over the last few years, company President Bob Bond said in a statement, calling the sale “a testament to the success of our company and the power of our incredible team.” Bond Fluidaire operates from four locations in Michigan, including in Grand Rapids, Traverse City and St. Joseph. 
  • Caledonia-based Aspen Surgical Products Inc., a private equity-backed manufacturer of disposable surgical products, has acquired Nashville, Tenn.-based Symmetry Surgical Inc. from private equity firm RoundTale Healthcare Partners. Symmetry is a maker of surgical and specialty instrumentation, electrosurgery products, and minimally invasive surgical devices. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is Aspen Surgical’s sixth since Boston-based Audax Private Equity acquired the company in 2019. 
  • Accounting firm UHY moved into the West Michigan market with the acquisition of Kalamazoo-based Jansen Valk Thompson Reahm PC, which also has an office in Dowagiac. Jansen Valk serves individuals, families, trusts, public corporations, private companies and non-profit organizations. UHY has five offices in Michigan in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Farmington Hills, Port Huron and Sterling Heights and employs more than 550 people.
  • Byron Center-based I.T. service provider People Driven Technology Inc. has acquired Novi-based Access Interactive LLC to build out its cybersecurity offerings after a two-year string of organic growth. Access Interactive was founded in 1985 and specializes in I.T. solutions for businesses. The company will “help complete” PDT’s portfolio, particularly for hybrid cloud and cybersecurity services, President Bryan Teipel told MiBiz. People Driven Technology will add 35 employees from Access Interactive, which will eventually fall under the PDT brand. The company also plans to build a new facility on the east side of the state to house all of the employees. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone PLC served as legal adviser on the deal.

 

Expansion

  • Growing Grand Rapids-based software design and development consultancy Atomic Object LLC has opened its fourth office with a move into the Raleigh, N.C. market. Along with the move, the employee-owned company named a pair of Grand Rapids employees, Taylor Vanden Hoek and Ryan Abel, as managing partners to lead the new office. The new Raleigh office adds to Atomic Object’s existing footprint in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Chicago, and helps the company expand into a new geographic market, according to executives. The company is recruiting internally for the office and plans to scale up local hiring in the coming months. 
  • Eight years after opening the Meijer Sports Complex, the West Michigan Sports Commission is embarking on an $11 million capital campaign to expand the Rockford-area facility with more fields and amenities. WMSC this fall launched its “Winning Streak” campaign, which will run through 2023 before construction starts in 2024, and seeks funding for a new championship softball field for youth, amateur and collegiate athletes. The campaign would also support three flexible fields for baseball and softball, 20 pickleball courts, the resurfacing of a main field, a new playground area and 450 additional parking spaces. Grand Rapids-based Progressive AE Inc. is providing design services for the expansion.
  • Bridgman-based automation manufacturer Eagle Technologies Group plans to add 100 jobs by 2024 and is leasing additional engineering and manufacturing space near St. Joseph to accommodate recent growth. The company, which recently surpassed $100 million in revenue, provides end-to-end manufacturing solutions for EV battery and powertrain markets, including battery cell deboxing, sorting assembling and testing and module automation. Eagle Technologies in August started leasing an 85,000-square-foot facility owned by Clark Logic LLC in the Berrien County village of Shoreham.
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