GRAND RAPIDS — The new owner of Bazzani Building Co. in Grand Rapids plans to maintain the company’s niche focus of sustainable design and construction.
Investment firm ASA Group LLC, based in Granger, Ind., near South Bend, closed in late April on the acquisition of a majority stake in Bazzani Building, a design and construction management company that over more than two decades established a niche and reputation for its sustainable business practices.
Founder Guy Bazzani retained a minority stake Bazzani Building. Minority partners in Bazzani Building as well retained their holdings and remain with the company.
Bazzani Building, with a pioneering focus on the so-called Triple Bottom Line philosophy that blends economic, social, and environmental sustainability, holds the kind of “unique competitive advantages” that ASA Group seeks when scouting for investments, said CEO Michael Coyne.
Coyne does not plan any changes to the business, although ASA Group may in the future look to extend Bazzani Building into other markets. He sees “a lot of opportunities ahead of us” in sustainable or “green” design and construction.
“We’ll maintain that because that’s who we are,” Coyne said. “Maybe we take a look somewhere down the road at expanding the footprint a little bit outside of Grand Rapids, but no matter what it is, it’s going to follow the same principles. We’re not going to get away from the principles that made them different.”
ASA Group invests in established small businesses with annual revenue of $2 million to $10 million and where “maybe a little bit of capital and some outside eyes can advance it to the next level,” Coyne said.
Bazzani Building, a certified B corporation that meets third-party social sustainability and environmental performance standards, was advised on the deal by Grand Rapids-based Small Business Deal Advisors LLC. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Bazzani, who turns 65 this year, formed the company in 1996 and decided last year to sell.
“I just said to myself it was time,” he said. “It was just time to get out of an active business and into more passive work.”
Bazzani took on an advisory role that will run at least through the end of the year, he said.
In seeking a buyer for the business, Bazzani wanted to find someone that embraced and would continue his sustainable philosophy.
“It is such a relief,” he said of the deal with ASA Group. “It really was a great fit.”
ASA Group in the past has looked at companies listed for sale and represented by Small Business Deal Advisors. ASA Group never bought but remained on an email list the M&A firm sends out listing companies for sale that it represents.
Coyne was immediately interested late last year when he received a Small Business Deal Advisors email that included Bazzani Building. The description of the company “caught my eye” and Coyne said he quickly followed up to learn more.
“I felt that it was unique, and I felt that since it was unique there would probably be a lot of people taking a look at it, so I didn’t let it sit on my desk very long,” he said. “The company has a long and successful tenure operating in an attractive niche.”
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