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Published in Economic Development
MiBiz Growth Report: Oct. 24, 2022 MIBIZ ILLUSTRATION

MiBiz Growth Report: Oct. 24, 2022

BY MiBiz Staff Sunday, October 23, 2022 06:00pm

M&A

  • Ada-based Burke Porter Group, a producer of automated diagnostic, testing and production equipment for specialty industrial markets, has bolstered its medical and life sciences capabilities with the acquisition of D&K Engineering, a San Diego-based contract manufacturer and product design firm. The deal adds end-to-end product design and contract manufacturing services and enhances Burke Porter Group’s offerings to help customers commercialize science-based products and instruments, according to a statement. It also gives Burke Porter a strategic foothold in the important southern California market, a hotbed of medical device and life sciences companies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition comes two months after Burke Porter Group became a portfolio company of New York-based private equity firm AEA Investors LP, which acquired the company from Hong Kong-based China Everbright Ltd.’s CEL Global Investment Fund LP.

  • Grand Rapids-based private equity firm Auxo Investment Partners has sold New Orleans-based M/G Transport Services, a barge transportation company that it acquired five years ago. The deal with Metairie, La.-based Maritime Partners LLC marks a successful exit for the Grand Rapids-based Auxo, which acquired the company in November 2017 and made strategic investments in the company, which operates a fleet of more than 300 barges. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. RBC Capital Markets LLC served as exclusive financial adviser to M/G Transport Services. Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummisky PLC, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Winston & Strawn LLP and BDO USA LLP also advised M/G Transport on the sale.

  • BMH Equipment LLC, formerly known as American Storage & Logistics and based in Caledonia, has acquired Frank H. Gill Co., a Lansing, Ill.-based supplier of material handling equipment including cranes, cargo tractors, pallet jacks, and commercial and industrial utility vehicles. BMH Equipment also distributes material handling equipment ranging from forklifts, pallet racking, hand trucks and conveyor components. The deal adds a sixth location for the company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Grand Rapids-based Calder Capital LLC served as the exclusive M&A advisers to BMH Equipment in the transaction.

  • Grand Rapids-based private equity firm Blackford Capital further integrated portfolio companies Boston Trade Interior Solutions, Design Environments Inc. and ID Collaborative. The companies now operate as Design Environments, a design, sourcing and installation firm. The company will maintain locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Greensboro, N.C., and San Francisco.

  • Traverse City-based Hodges Fastener Corp., a woman-owned distributor of fasteners, has sold to Twinsburg, Ohio-based Lakeshore Fastener Group. Hodges Fastener was founded in 2001 and distributes across Michigan. Owner Ellen Strange previously took over the business from her father, Bill Hodges, after a career in accounting. The sale will allow Hodges Fastener to offer a broader range of products and services to customers. For Lakeshore Fastener, the deal allows the company to continue expanding in the Midwest and build on its distribution centers in Michigan, Ohio, New York and Wisconsin. The firm’s strategy is to maintain the local distributors’ identities while leveraging back office efficiencies at its headquarters near Cleveland. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

RETAIL

  • Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU), a Grand Rapids-based franchise restaurant operator of Wendy’s and other brands, has started construction on its fourth Taco John’s location near Cincinnati, its first for the brand in Ohio. The new restaurant is part of a $100 million plan to build 50 new Taco John’s stores by 2026, with options to develop an additional 150 restaurants. The company plans to pay for the expansion with cash on hand and credit facilities, according to a statement. Meritage Hospitality Group currently operates 350 restaurants across a 16-state footprint and employs about 11,000 people. 

  • Grand Rapids-based Fox Motor Group LLC relocated its Farmington Hills-based Jaguar Land Rover store to a new, nearly 59,000-square-foot store in Novi. Along with the move, the store was renamed Jaguar Land Rover Novi. The new facility is more than double the size of the former location, according to a statement. Fox Motors acquired the store in December 2021. 

BANKING

  • Community Choice Credit Union planned to begin construction this week on a new $2 million office on South Harvey Street in Muskegon. Farmington Hills-based Community Choice, with about 180,000 members at 22 offices and $16.9 billion in assets as of midyear, acquired the site with the May 2021 merger with the former First General Credit Union. Targeted to open in the spring, the office will replace a former location at 2735 Estes Street. 

  • Kalamazoo-based Consumers Credit Union has signed a sponsorship agreement with Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids for the naming rights to a restaurant. The Intersection restaurant at Van Andel Arena is now known as ConsumersCU Club Restaurant + Bar. The naming rights include signs throughout the arena and a mural over the stairs and escalator. Terms of the sponsorship were undisclosed. Savor, the culinary division of ASM Global and the exclusive food and beverage provider at the arena, manages the restaurant. 

HEALTH CARE

  • Greater competition in the West Michigan health care market for cardiac surgery has arrived with University of Michigan Health-West performing its first open-heart procedure. Surgeons at the health system performed coronary artery bypass graft surgery on Oct. 3 on a male patient in his 60s who went home days later and was recovering well, President and CEO Peter Hahn said. The health system launched open-heart surgery as part of a cardiovascular care network in West Michigan with Ann Arbor-based parent University of Michigan Health and Trinity Health.

PHILANTHROPY

  • Zeeland-based Tier 1 automotive supplier Gentex Corp. (Nasdaq: GNTX) has created a nonprofit charitable foundation for its philanthropic efforts as well as a new scholarship program for women pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Gentex Foundation will disperse grant funding to U.S. organizations supporting a “wide variety of areas,” including economic development, children’s services, housing assistance and diversity initiatives. A board of directors will oversee grant applications and focus on “communities where Gentex employees live and work, and which reflect the Foundation’s values of integrity, compassion, innovation, and diversity,” according to an announcement. Gentex also launched the Amanda Clark Scholarship program to support female high school seniors in West Michigan pursuing a STEM degree at a four-year college or university. Scholarships of up to $5,000 can be renewed for up to three years.
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