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MiBiz Growth Report: Aug. 21, 2017

BY MiBiz Staff Sunday, August 20, 2017 10:30pm

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Aug. 21, 2017.


  • Three Rivers-based Armstrong International Inc., a fifth-generation family-owned manufacturer of energy management products, has acquired Delta2 s.r.l. of Milano, Italy, according to a statement. Delta2 makes control valves and pneumatic operators for the oil and gas, food, pharmaceutical, power and industrial markets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The more than 30-year-old Delta2 business will become an integrated unit of Armstrong International — EMEA. Armstrong Global Holdings President and CEO Douglas Bloss said the acquisition will bolster the company’s product offerings in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, as well as provide it access to a technically skilled workforce and Delta2’s supply chain.
  • Independent third-party administrator of employee benefits Retirement Planning Inc. (RPI) of Grand Rapids was acquired by Appleton, Wis.-based The Retirement Advantage Inc., according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. RPI primarily works with privately-held companies in the Great Lakes region. The firm designs and provides annual maintenance services for retirement plans. The company, founded in 1988, is led by President Mark Whited. For TRA, an independent third-party administrator, employee benefits consultant and technology provider, the deal helps the company execute on its broader growth strategy. According to President Matt Schoneman, the company aims to ensure a seamless transition for clients during the integration process. TRA serves more than 6,000 plan sponsors and has more than $6 billion in retirement assets under its administration.


  • eAgile Inc., a manufacturer of radio frequency identification components, will invest $4.3 million in expanding its downtown Grand Rapids facility at 1100 Hynes Ave. The project is expected to be completed over a three-year timeline, and the company plans to hire 50 additional employees. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) awarded eAgile a $300,000 performance-based grant for the expansion. The Right Place Inc., a Grand Rapids-based economic development firm, assisted the manufacturer in securing the incentives.
  • Neogen Corp., a Lansing-based manufacturer of food and animal safety testing products, will invest $1.3 million into renovating a building to house its Ideal Instruments Inc. subsidiary. The move comes after operations at Ideal Instruments’ current facility reached capacity, according to Neogen Treasurer Jim Houthoofd. While the new building — located at 1000 S. Hosmer St. in Lansing — offers Neogen an opportunity to grow, it needs a considerable amount of work, he said. Neogen (Nasdaq: NEOG) will receive a $192,588 brownfield incentive from the city of Lansing over the next 19 years to help with redevelopment costs. Executives expect the project to be completed in 2019.
  • Ada-based Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply will lease 2,500 square feet in a new building at 452 Ada Drive for a brewery and 75-seat taproom with a kitchen. The site is adjacent to a new Kingma’s Market grocery store. As part of its expansion plan, the company has a purchase agreement for an undisclosed property in Grand Rapids, where it plans to move its homebrew supply store, install a 15-barrel brewhouse and open a taproom with a restaurant, according to owner Matt Michiels. Gravel Bottom sold 330.1 barrels of beer in 2016, an increase of 124 percent from the prior year, according to data from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.


  • Holland-based Orindi Ventures LLC won the $20,000 semifinal prize in the Chicago Miller Lite Tap the Future entrepreneurs competition. Company founders Jordan Vanderham and Jared Seifert move on to the grand finale in Chicago in September for a chance to win an additional $100,000 in capital. Orindi Ventures developed a mask that warms and humidifies the air for people working in the severe cold.
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