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MiBiz Growth Report: April 16, 2018

BY MiBiz Staff Sunday, April 15, 2018 08:49pm

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for April 16, 2018.

• M&A: Holland-based JR Automation Technologies LLC, a private equity-backed manufacturer of custom automation equipment, has acquired Setpoint Systems and Setpoint Inc. of Ogden, Utah. The deal further expands JR Automation’s industrial automation offerings for global clients, according to a statement. The acquired companies specialize in automation solutions and motion control systems for the e-commerce and amusement industries. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

• M&A: Warren-based Eckhart Inc. acquired Logic Plus, an electrical controls and automation company in Reed City. Eckhart designs and manufactures advanced manufacturing solutions for large industrial customers. Logic Plus is Eckhart’s third acquisition. NuVescor Group in Grand Rapids represented Logic Plus.

• M&A: Dowagiac-based Securit Metal Products Co. was sold to an individual investor. Founded in 1952, Securit Metal Products produces solid rivets for the truck and trailer, aerospace, and agriculture industries. Calder Capital LLC in Grand Rapids represented the buyer.

• M&A: Berrien Springs-based Creative Landscaping Inc. sold to an individual investor. Founded in 1974, Creative Landscaping provides landscape design, installation, and maintenance. Calder Capital LLC represented the company in the deal.

• M&A: Fort Smith, Ark.-based real estate investment fund AndMark Management Co. LLC has acquired the 136-unit Rivershell Apartments complex in Lansing for $5.6 million, according to a statement. The complex will be managed by Trinity Multifamily, an Arkansas-based property management firm. Financing for the deal was provided by a Freddie Mac loan through Berkadia Proprietary Holding LLC, a commercial real estate firm.

• M&A: Detroit-based Clark Hill PLC, a law firm with offices in Grand Rapids and Lansing, acquired Dallas-based Strasburger & Price LLP, which has offices in Texas and Mexico, according to a statement. The combined firm has approximately 650 attorneys with 25 offices around the world. It will be known as Clark Hill except in Texas, where it will operate as Clark Hill Strasburger. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The combined firm will have annual revenue of approximately $287 million, according to a February report in The American Lawyer.

• Expansion: Agropur Inc., an American subsidiary of the Canada-based Agropur Cooperative, will invest $21.3 million in new equipment and building modifications at its Wyoming facility at 5252 Clay St. SW, where it employs 161 people. The project will address capacity needs to meet growing customer demands, including the creation of up to 62 jobs over the next three years, according to a statement. The Wyoming plant produces several non-dairy products, including soy milk. Agropur received a performance-based $434,000 Michigan Business Development Program grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to support the expansion. The company also is seeking a tax abatement from the city of Wyoming. 

• Expansion: Oliver Healthcare Packaging, a division of Grand Rapids-based Oliver Products Co., has opened a new 68,000-square-foot plant in Suzhou, China. The Suzhou plant includes clean room manufacturing for medical device and pharmaceutical packaging, as well as testing, laboratory, and warehouse and distribution, according to a statement. As part of a global expansion, Oliver recently opened a regional office in Singapore and expects to open a technical service center and lab in Ireland later this year.

• Expansion: Management consulting and financial advisory firm Conway MacKenzie Inc. opened an office in the Waters Building on Ottawa Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids office. Managing Director Steve Conley will lead the Grand Rapids office for the Birmingham-based Conway MacKenzie. Conley was previously the CFO and corporate treasurer at National Heritage Academies in Grand Rapids. Conway MacKenzie has 11 offices across the U.S. and plans to add staff in Grand Rapids.

• Expansion: KL Outdoor LLC of Muskegon will invest $8.3 million in a manufacturing and distribution facility in Stockbridge, Ga., southeast of Atlanta, according to a statement from the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). The investment is expected to create more than 100 jobs. KL Outdoor, the maker of the Sun Dolphin and Evoke brands of kayaks, also makes canoes, pedal boats, paddleboards and other outdoor equipment. The company is owned by private equity firm New Water Capital LP of Boca Raton, Fla. The new location provides the manufacturer with an “important manufacturing and distribution center,” according to CEO Chuck Smith.

• Expansion: Grand Rapids-based Comprenew has expanded its electronics recycling services into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and northern Wisconsin via a partnership with Goodwill of Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, according to a statement.

• Expansion: Paw Paw-based St. Julian Winery plans to open a new tasting room at 4425 14 Mile Road NE, just east of U.S. 131. The company said the tasting room is set to open in June and will offer its full range of products, which includes wine, cider and spirits. Portage-based Genco Properties LLC, which is owned by St. Julian President John Braganini, purchased two adjacent parcels for a total of $433,500 in November, according to property records. In a filing with Algoma Township, the company said it planned to redevelop an existing building at the site for the tasting room on one side and a sit-down restaurant to be operated by Flo’s Collection on the other.

• Expansion: Holland-based New Holland Artisan Spirits will start distributing its spirits in Texas starting next month, the 21st state in its footprint for spirits brands. The company is working with Republic National Distribution Co. and is represented by Brownstone Brokers LLC

• Expansion: Bell’s Brewery Inc. is launching distribution of its beer brands in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey later this year, according to a statement. With the addition of the seven new states, the brewery’s distribution footprint now spans 39 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Bell’s new distributor partners are: Hunterdon Brewing Co. LLC in New Jersey; Craft New Hampshire; Craft Beer Guild Distributing of Maine LLC; Craft Beer Guild Distributing of Vermont LLC; Northeast Beverage Corp. and Levine Distributing in Connecticut; Seaboard Products, L. Knife & Son, Craft Beer Guild LLC and Commercial Distributing in Massachusetts; and McLaughlin & Moran Inc. in Rhode Island.

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