Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: Aug. 15, 2022

BY Sunday, August 14, 2022 06:11pm

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for August 15, 2022:


  • Global appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corp. has acquired a leading manufacturer of food waste disposers and instant hot water dispensers for $3 billion. In the all-cash deal, Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR) has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire the InSinkErator business, based in Mount Pleasant, Wis., from parent company Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE: EMR) of St. Louis, Mo. Founded in 1938, InSinkErator maintains a more than 70-percent share of the food waste disposal industry, serving both home and commercial users. Emerson Electric acquired the business in 1968. InSinkErator employs nearly 1,400 people. The InSinkErator business expects to generate sales of about $650 million, with more than $170 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the fiscal year ending on Sept. 30, 2022. 
  • A New York investment firm has acquired Burke Porter Group Co., an Ada-based producer of automated diagnostic, testing and production equipment for the life science, automotive, aerospace and other specialty industrial markets. AEA Investors’ Middle Market Private Equity bought Burke Porter Group from Hong Kong-based China Everbright Ltd.’s CEL Global Investment Fund LP, which acquired a controlling stake in the company in 2015 for $90 million. Through the partnership with CEL Global Investment, Burke Porter Group was transformed “into a leading global platform of automation solutions,” according to an announcement this month on the sale to AEA Investors. Terms of the deal with AEA Investors were undisclosed.
  • Heartland Home Services LLC, a private equity-backed HVAC, plumbing and electrical home service provider, has added a second Wisconsin-based firm to its portfolio of companies in recent months. Following the recent acquisition of The Thielmann Group, Heartland Home Services officials announced this month that the company has acquired Hurlburt Heating, AC & Plumbing of western Wisconsin. Hurlburt has been family-owned and operated since 1959. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Heartland Home Services — which is owned by New York City-based private equity firm The Jordan Co. — has now announced a half dozen deals in 2022, gradually expanding its Midwestern reach after acquisitions this year in Cincinnati, St. Louis, Kansas City and the Chicagoland area.
  • Portage-based HTSE Inc., a provider of process automation and machine control systems, has been acquired by GrayMatter Systems LLC, a private equity-backed cybersecurity, technology and consulting firm based in Warrendale, Pa. The acquisition will add complementary capabilities to help GrayMatter meet the demand for industrial intelligence solutions, according to a statement. Founded in 1989, HTSE currently serves customers in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, chemical and broader manufacturing industries. The deal is GrayMatter’s third strategic acquisition in the four years since the company received an investment from Hamilton Robinson Capital Partners, a Stamford, Conn.-based private equity firm. Terms of the HTSE deal were not disclosed. 
  • Zeeland-based ODL Inc., a manufacturer of door glass, door blinds and other building products, has acquired Robover Inc., an insulated glass manufacturer based in Quebec. Robover has served the Canadian market for more than two decades. ODL plans to maintain all of Robover’s employees and locations after the close of the deal, which will bring new products and capabilities into the company. Wells Fargo financed the deal. Fifth Third Securities served as financial adviser to ODL, which was advised by law firms Honigman LLP in the U.S. and Faskens LLP in Canada. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Sawyer-based Corvette Central, a manufacturer and supplier of restoration parts for Chevrolet Corvette sportscars, has sold to Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Legendary Companies, a private equity-backed manufacturer and supplier of collector car tires, wheels and restoration hard parts. The family owned Corvette Central was founded in 1975 and offers parts to upgrade, repair or restore all models of Corvettes. The deal adds a vast array of parts and a reputation for customer service to Legendary Companies’ operations, which also includes Coker Tire and Paragon Corvette. Legendary Companies has been a portfolio company of New York City-based Irving Place Capital since 2018. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Grand Rapids-based investment bank BlueWater Partners LLC served as financial adviser to Corvette Central in the transaction. 
  • Kauhale Health in Westerville, Ohio, acquired assisted living and memory care community Vicinia Gardens of Otsego. The deal was Kauhale’s first acquisition and part of an aggressive regional senior living investment and management strategy. It also follows the company’s March appointment as manager of Continuing Care Retirement Community Vista Grande Villa in Jackson. Kauhale will rename Vicinia Gardens of Otsego as Kauhale Otsego.
  • Traverse City-based automotive lifestyle brand and specialty insurance provider Hagerty (NYSE: HGTY) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the outstanding shares of Okemos-based Broad Arrow Group Inc. for $64.8 million. The all-stock transaction, which is expected to close on Aug. 16, comes after Hagerty earlier this year acquired a 40-percent equity stake in Broad Arrow, which specializes in transactional segments of the collector car market. The deal supports Hagerty’s Marketplace, a proprietary classifieds platform that connects buyers and sellers of collectible cars. Hagerty eyes significant opportunity in the live and online collector car auction industry: In the 12 months ending on June 30, 2022, Hagerty members bought and sold more than 300,000 collectible cars worth nearly $12 billion, according to the company.
  • The owners of the Shops at CenterPoint mall in Grand Rapids have sold the property in a $63.5 million transaction. New York City-based Stonemar Properties LLC, a real estate investment and property management firm, closed on the off-market transaction for the mall with a fund managed by New York-based DRA Advisors LLC in partnership with Illinois-based Pine Tree Commercial Realty LLC. The CenterPoint deal marks Pine Tree’s entry to the Grand Rapids market and comes as the firm has gone on a buying spree in the last year, deploying some $375 million in transactions, according to a statement. The 537,948-square-foot shopping center, located near the busy, retail-heavy intersection of 28th Street and East Beltline Avenue, includes retailers T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, Nordstrom Rack, Sierra Trading Post, DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, Ulta Beauty, Five Below, JOANN Fabrics, Planet Fitness and Dunham’s Sports.


  • Zeeland furniture startup Quint Workspaces LLC, which seeks to play into the growing home office trend, has secured $1.5 million in capital from investors around Michigan. Formed in 2020 by office furniture industry veteran Don Goeman, the company plans to use the early-stage funding to support new product development, expand delivery services to major markets, and enhance e-commerce capabilities. Goeman previously worked for 40 years at the former Herman Miller Inc., now MillerKnoll Inc. He served as executive vice president of research, design and development from 2005 to 2019 before forming Quint Workspaces. Investors in the early-stage capital round include Grand Rapids-based Michigan Capital Network, Invest Detroit Ventures, Michigan Rise in East Lansing, and Detroit-based Invest Michigan, plus individual investors.
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