Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Jan. 21, 2019.
• M&A: Finland-based Harvia Ltd. is acquiring Holland-based Almost Heaven Saunas LLC, a manufacturer of outdoor and indoor saunas, in a transaction valued at 4 million euros, or about $4.5 million, according to a statement. Harvia will assume certain liabilities of Almost Heaven Saunas and pay for the remainder of the deal using cash reserves. Founded in 1978, Almost Heaven generated more than $10 million in sales in 2018. The company employs 40 people in Holland and at its manufacturing operations in Renick, W.V. The deal enables Havia, a maker of sauna heaters and components, to expand its offerings in North America.
• M&A: To focus on its core data center, managed services, and network integration services, Kalamazoo-based Secant Technologies is selling off its building services division and spinning off its design and consulting group, according to a statement. Brighton-based SVT — a data cabling, audio visual, and physical security services firm that operates as an alias of CCO Technologies Inc. — acquired the building services division. Secant’s design and consulting division is spinning off into a separate company, AE Tech Design, “in early 2019.” Both will continue to operate from Kalamazoo.
• M&A: Grand Rapids-based private equity firm Stone Fox Ventures LLC acquired Cleveland, Ohio-based Even Cut Abrasive Co., a producer of specialty abrasive products, and plans to move part of the business to Wyoming, Mich. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Stone Fox is investing $3.7 million into a plant on Roger B. Chaffee Memorial Boulevard, where it expects to create 52 jobs. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. provided the company a $400,000 Business Development Program performance-based grant.
• M&A: Sparta-based Riveridge Produce Marketing Inc., the largest supplier of Michigan apples, has acquired the sales operation of Jack Brown Produce Inc., also of Sparta. Riveridge Produce will acquire all Jack Brown Produce brands, packaging materials and assets associated with sales and marketing, according to the company. Grower shareholders will continue to own the Jack Brown Produce storage and packaging facility, which will begin packing under Riveridge brands. With the deal, Riveridge Produce will represent 50 percent of Michigan’s fresh apple crop, an increase from around 35 percent of the market, President Don Armock told MiBiz. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
• M&A: First Agency Inc., a Kalamazoo-based insurance brokerage, has sold to Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., according to a statement. First Agency offers blanket student and athletic accident coverage, such as sports camps or special risk insurance, to colleges and K-12 schools. With the deal, First Agency staff remains and the firm will continue to operate from its current location on West H Avenue in Kalamazoo, according to a statement. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
• M&A: Ascension Michigan signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire Allegan Healthcare Group, the health system that includes the 25-bed Allegan General Hospital, primary care medical group Allegan Professional Health Services, and the Allegan General Hospital Foundation. Ascension Michigan operates 15 hospitals and hundreds of care facilities. It includes Ascension Borgess in Kalamazoo, which consists of Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac, Borgess-Pipp Hospital in Plainwell, and outpatient centers and physician offices.
• M&A: Van Buren County United Way plans to merge into United Way of Southwest Michigan on July 1, 2019, according to a statement. The two organizations plan to immediately start sharing back office operations. The move is expected to increase efficiencies for the combined organization.
• Expansion: Allegiant Travel Co. (Nasdaq: ALGT) is expanding its footprint at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport with the opening of a $42.8 million base. The project is expected to create at least 66 permanent jobs. According to The Right Place Inc., Allegiant will add high-wage positions in Grand Rapids, including pilots, flight attendants and aircraft maintenance personnel to support two aircraft. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is supporting the expansion with a $200,000 Business Development Program performance-based grant. Las Vegas-based Allegiant also said it was adding two new nonstop routes to Nashville, Tenn. and Savannah, Ga. The direct flights from Grand Rapids will begin in June.
• Expansion: FirstLight Home Care plans to open a new location in the Kalamazoo area in early 2019. Jeremy Fellows, Don Fellows and Jeffrey Lamborne will own and operate the franchise office. The partners currently own and operate FirstLight Home Care locations in Grand Rapids and Muskegon. FirstLight serves seniors, adults with disabilities, new mothers, veterans, people recovering from surgery and other adults, and has more than 250 locations in 34 states.