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Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: September 13, 2020

BY MIBIZ STAFF Sunday, September 13, 2020 01:24pm

This is the MiBiz growth report for September 13, 2020.

M&A

  • Grand Rapids-based BlueWater Partners served as exclusive financial advisor to Douglas Corp. of Minneapolis, Minn. in its recent sale to Aludec USA, Inc. Douglas — which designs and manufactures product identification and user interface products for the automotive, truck, marine, agriculture and construction industries — was acquired by the Spanish company, which designs and manufactures exterior and interior automotive parts. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Greenville-based Castle Brewing Co. has been acquired by a new team hoping to bring brewing experience and possibly a new concept to the Montcalm County brewpub. Brent Slagell and Jim Zawacki — part of the ownership group of Lowell-based Big Boiler Brewing — this month acquired Castle Brewing in Greenville under the entity Hophog LLC. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
  • Pro-Vision Video Systems, a West Michigan producer of body-worn cameras and rear vision and video recording systems used worldwide, announced a strategic acquisition. Pro-Vision, owned by Boston-based private equity firm JMC Capital Partners, has acquired Zone Defense LLC, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla. Aligning with Pro-Vision’s products, Zone Defense develops, engineers and manufactures advanced vision systems for automotive and fleet industries.
  • Grand Rapids-based medical and biotechnology manufacturing firm Medbio LLC has acquired a western New York medical device manufacturer. Medbio announced the acquisition of Polymer Conversions Inc., which specializes in contract medical device manufacturing involving thermoplastic injection molding. Company officials say Polymer Conversions is “highly complementary” to Medbio’s platform and expands the company’s “geographic presence.” Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Real estate and development

  • Genesis Non-Profit Housing Corp. is planning a multi-family housing development with 38 apartment units earmarked for affordable housing on Grand Rapids’ West Side. Later this month the Grand Rapids City Planning Commission will consider a rezoning request for the properties at 851 Leonard St. NW and 850 and 860 Courtney St. NW. The land planned for the Leonard Apartments development falls in two different zone districts — traditional business area and low density residential — with an irregular lot configuration.
  • An Indianapolis-based developer is planning a 320-unit luxury apartment complex along East Beltline Avenue northeast of Grand Rapids. The developer — Watermark Residential, an affiliate of Thompson Thrift Development Inc. — has acquired about 24 acres for The Grove by Watermark project at 3590 East Beltline Ave. in Grand Rapids Township. The expected completion date for the housing project is August 2022.

Health care

  • Gateway Pediatric Therapy LLC opened its ninth Michigan location and first in West Michigan on 68th Street SW in Kentwood. Led by Lisa Bingham, the clinic offers applied behavior analysis for children with autism. Gateway Pediatric Therapy plans to expand further in Michigan next year. Alongside its Kentwood location, Gateway recently established locations in Shiawassee and in Georgia.
  • Bronson Healthcare Group plans to develop a new inpatient psychiatric center in Battle Creek by 2022 that would more than double its licensed inpatient beds for behavioral health care. The Kalamazoo health system has begun planning for an 83-bed psychiatric center on a 40-acre site at Glenn Cross Road and M-66 owned by Bronson Battle Creek Hospital. Now in its early planning stages, the development would replace Bronson Battle Creek’s existing Fieldstone Center psychiatric facility that has 39 licensed psychiatric inpatient beds.

Manufacturing

  • Reduced demand brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant workforce reduction at Steelcase Inc. The Grand Rapids-based furniture maker announced measures to reduce the cost structure for the company’s corporate office functions and Americas segment. A combination of early retirements and both voluntary and involuntary separations shed the company of 300 salaried employees, or 8 percent of Steelcase’s salaried workforce in the Americas and corporate front office. Another 65 salaried employees have shifted to a part-time role within the company while others have accepted a temporary layoff for three to six months. Steelcase also accepted early retirements of roughly 160 hourly employees within the company.
  • Over the remaining months of 2020, worldwide office furniture manufacturer Haworth Inc. will undergo a major transition within its financial leadership team. Chief Financial Officer John Mooney announced over the summer that he would be retiring at the end of the year. Haworth recently announced that it appointed Scott Poulton to succeed Mooney as CFO. Mooney’s retirement will conclude his 15 years of financial leadership with the company.

Banking

  • First National Bank of Michigan plans to open a new branch office in Lansing. The office would become the sixth branch for the Kalamazoo-based FNB, which opened a loan office in Lansing more than three years ago. The loan office will move into the new downtown branch at Michigan Avenue and South Washington Square in a building that was built in 1918 and originally was the home of Lansing State Savings Bank. FNB plans to move into the building in October after completing renovations.
  • Huntington Bancshares Inc. has pledged to lend and invest $5 billion in Michigan over five years to support financial opportunities for businesses, consumers and community organizations. While details of the commitment and specific initiatives will take shape in the coming months, the pledge will involve increased investments in capital access for small businesses with “a special emphasis on those owned by minorities, women and veterans,” as well as affordable housing and home ownership, and community lending and investment, according to an announcement from the Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington.

Nonprofit

  • Kent County and the Heart of West Michigan United Way issued more than $2.3 million in pandemic relief grants to area nonprofits while more is on the way. Officials on Sept. 8 announced dozens of first-round recipients of funding from the Kent County Non-Profit Organization COVID-19 Grant Fund. The lengthy list of recipients was populated on Heart of West Michigan United Way’s website.
  • The Steelcase Foundation is launching a search for a new leader after president Julie Ridenour announced plans to retire at the end of the year. The foundation — which is independent of Steelcase Inc. and was established in 1951 to support charitable, scientific, literary and educational causes in the community — announced Ridenour would conclude her tenure as president effective Dec. 31. She has held the position since 2012.

Booze

  • A new partnership will bring whiskey from Three Oaks-based Journeyman Distillery LLC to all 50 states. The craft distillery announced recently that it established a collaborative agreement with 375 Park Avenue Spirits, an independent subsidiary and fully integrated sales firm of New Orleans-based Sazerac Company, one of the leading spirits providers in the U.S. Journeyman currently distributes to 19 different states, but the company announced that the mammoth distribution power of 375 Park Avenue Spirits will bring its extensive selection of whiskey throughout the country.
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