Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: April 11, 2022

BY Sunday, April 10, 2022 06:31pm

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for April 11, 2022.


  • Grand Rapids law firm Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummisky PLC served as legal adviser to Altus Capital Partners, a Wilton, Conn.-based private equity firm, on its acquisition of Marinette, Wis.-based Winsert LLC. Winsert is a manufacturer of metal parts for the trucking, transportation, infrastructure, power generation and aerospace sectors. Winsert’s management team will remain in place after the deal. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Altus Capital’s prior holdings included Wyoming-based Die Cast Holdings Inc.
  • Koops Inc., a Holland-based designer and builder of automation systems and equipment for manufacturers, announced that it is acquiring Saginaw-based Wright-K Technology Inc. For more than 110 years, Wright-K Technology has specialized in welding, assembly, and control systems. The company — co-owned by Connie Kostrzewa and John Sivey — supplies industries including automotive, aerospace, appliance and logistics. Both Kostrzewa and Sivey are retiring but will consult with the business as needed.
  • Inno-Versity LLC and Th3rd Coast Digital Solutions, two portfolio companies of Ada-based family office Century Technology Group Inc., will merge and rebrand as MindSpring LLC, company officials announced. Ada-based Inno-Versity specializes in developing digital and eLearning programming for clients, while Grand Haven-based Th3rd Coast provides media production and augmented and virtual reality services often used for workforce training. Company officials say merging the like-minded firms under the new name MindSpring will be a natural fit while providing continuity of services.
  • Michigan Professional Insurance Exchange, a Grand Rapids-based provider of professional medical liability coverage for health systems and care providers, has signed an agreement to sell to a Minnesota company. The deal with Minneapolis-based Constellation Inc. includes MPIE’s business, assets and liabilities. Directors at both organizations have approved the transaction, which also requires regulatory and subscriber approvals. Terms of the transaction, which is targeted to close in mid 2022, were undisclosed.
  • Elevator services provider Elevator Service LLC continued its growth in the Midwest through a recent acquisition. The Grand Rapids-based company, which was purchased by Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm Carroll Capital LLC in 2019, announced this week that it has acquired Toledo Elevator & Machine Co. Inc. Toledo Elevator has grown to become the largest independent elevator services provider both in its home market of Toledo as well as Detroit, where it entered in 2013 and does business as City Elevator of Michigan. Toledo Elevator was founded in 1923 and provides clients with preventative maintenance, testing, repair, modernization and installation services. The acquisition was Elevator Service’s (ESI) second in the last six months and allows the company to break into the Ohio market. Last year, ESI completed an acquisition of Milwaukee-based Express Elevator LLC.
  • Public relations and integrated communications firm Lambert & Co. has entered into a new strategic partnership with the largest minority-owned public relations agency in Michigan. Announced by both parties, Grand Rapids-based Lambert has purchased a minority stake in Van Dyke Horn Public Relations, a minority-owned and woman-led PR agency based in Detroit. Led by CEO and founding partner Georgella Muirhead and president Marilyn Horn, Van Dyke Horn has held a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification for the last 24 years. Collaborative projects and general growth strategy between the two organizations will be co-led by Lambert CEO Michelle Olson and Chairman Jeff Lambert in concert with Horn and Muirhead.
  • North Ottawa Community Health System would become part of Trinity Health, the parent company of Mercy Health in West Michigan, if the two can finalize a merger agreement that was recently announced. Trinity Health Michigan and Grand Haven-based North Ottawa Community Health say they have signed a non-binding letter of intent to “discuss the feasibility” of the small Grand Haven health system becoming part of the Livonia-based Trinity Health. 
  • Aqua-Leisure Recreation LLC, a portfolio company of Grand Rapids private equity firm Blackford Capital, acquired Longwood, Fla.-based INYO Pool Products LLC, a brand of swimming pool supply, repair and maintenance products. The deal was the second add-on acquisition made by Aqua-Leisure since Blackford Capital acquired the company in January 2021. Acqua-Leisure previously acquired Airhead Sports Group in Denver, Colorado. Varnum LLP served as legal adviser and Grant Thornton was the financial and tax adviser to Blackford. 
  • Grand Rapids-based data center solutions provider Service Express LLC announced that it has acquired Trident Computer Resources, a New Jersey-based company that specializes in third-party maintenance. Trident was founded in 1993 and provides data center maintenance and technical support to clients belonging to industries such as health care, education and finance. Trident CEO Steve Studley said that Service Express and its additional capabilities would enhance service to Trident’s existing clients.
  • Richland-based Gull Lake Marine Center Inc. has expanded its reach down the coast of Lake Michigan by recently announcing it has acquired All Seasons Marine Inc. in South Haven.  Gull Lake Marine Center already operates three locations in Richland and one in Grand Rapids. With the acquisition of All Seasons Marine, Gull Lake Marine Center will inherit two harborside sites with a full-service marina that features 48 seasonal slips, a fueling dock and a deep water launch basin all situated at the mouth of the Black River and Lake Michigan.
  • Meritage Hospitality Group Inc., a franchise restaurant operator based in Grand Rapids, has sold the concept for its Twisted Rooster restaurant for $500,000. The restaurant group also announced its plans to invest around $200 million to develop additional Wendy’s and Taco John’s restaurants. The company currently operates 343 restaurants in states throughout the U.S. 


  • Battle Creek-based Duncan Aviation Inc. plans to add one hangar, three support buildings and a new vehicle maintenance building to its operations. The aircraft services company’s $30 million investment expects to create at least 61 jobs. The company chose Michigan over competing sites in Nebraska and Utah, according to state officials. Duncan Aviation has 39 locations across the United States and employs 638 people in Battle Creek.
  • A Benton Harbor Township-based contract tool and die shop focused on manufacturing special tools and fixtures is expanding its footprint. Bulk Ag Innovations LLC, doing business as West Michigan Tool & Die (WMTD), has achieved minority business enterprise certification through the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council and is gaining new opportunities in defense contracts. WMTD is expanding its operations in Benton Harbor Township to meet increased demand, with plans to add a bay and reconfigure machine building. The $3.4 million project expects to create 22 jobs. 
  • Zeeland-based Symbiote, a manufacturer of customized furniture products and solutions for underserved markets, announced that it will add 4,670 square feet of space to its existing facility and expects to create seven new jobs in the process. The company, which services industries like technology, education and health care, is investing $626,000 in the expansion.The City of Zeeland is supporting the project with a recently approved 12-year industrial facilities tax exemption.
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