Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: August 16, 2020

BY MIBIZ STAFF Sunday, August 16, 2020 11:54am

MiBiz growth report for August 16, 2020.


  • Greenville-based FabX Industries Inc. acquired Elite Tooling LLC in Kalamazoo. Shane Smith, who founded Elite Tooling in 1996 at the age of 18, remains with the company as president. Elite Tooling serves pharmaceutical, medical and aerospace manufacturers in the Kalamazoo area with a focus on low-volume, high-precision and fast turnaround work. The acquisition enables FabX Industries to expand its reach into high-precision machining and makes Kalamazoo a “strategic location to service our customers in Northern Indiana,” owner Gopi Ganta said. A machining and fabrication service provider, FabX Industries is the parent company of Aquest Machining & Assembly and LaserTec. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Grand Rapids-based Calder Capital LLC advised Elite Tooling in the transaction, the firm’s 20th of the year. 
  • Covington, Ky.-based manufacturer ProMach Inc. looks to enhance its packaging machinery capabilities with the purchase of Holland-based Fogg Filler Co. LLC, a third-generation family-owned company. Over six decades, Fogg Filler has grown to become a leader in rotary filling systems for the food and beverage industry. Owner Ben Fogg will continue to lead the team of more than 170 employees at the company’s 107,000-square-foot location in Holland. A platform company backed by Los Angeles-based private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP, ProMach is a provider of complete packaging machinery solutions, engineering and integration services for food, beverage and pharmaceutical companies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Grand Rapids-based VNN Inc., a high school sports communication platform, carved out a foothold in Washington state with its acquisition of Washington Prep Athletics Network, based in Lynden, Wash. Similar to VNN, WPA Network has become the largest provider of data management tools for athletic directors throughout Washington. VNN has partnerships with roughly 10 percent of the high school sports programs in the U.S., but was only connected with three schools in Washington. With the deal, VNN is now connected with 35 athletic conferences in the state, or roughly 85 percent of the schools in Washington. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Flint-based Patriot Supply Inc., which does business as Capitol Supply and Service and has locations in Grand Rapids and Lansing, was acquired by Fremont, Ohio-based Style Crest Inc. Capitol Supply is a building products distribution and HVAC installation and servicing business for the manufactured housing industry. The company had completed several rounds of shareholder buyouts over the years and was ready to find a long-term strategic partner to grow the business, according to a statement. For Style Crest, a provider of HVAC and manufactured home products and services, the deal allows the company to expand its installation and servicing capabilities to a new state. Southfield-based investment banking and private investment firm Cascade Partners LLC advised Capitol Supply on the deal.
  • Perrigo Co. plc intends to buy three skin care and hair loss brands from French pharmaceutical company Sanofi. The company signed a definitive agreement with Paris-based Sanofi to acquire the three treatments, which in the 12 months leading up to June 30 generated combined sales of $23 million. Perrigo, which is based in Dublin, Ireland and operated from Allegan, expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. 
  • A wholly owned subsidiary of Kalamazoo-based Midwest Fastener Corp. acquired almost all the assets of Hy-Ko Products Co., a manufacturer of numbers, letters, signs, keys and accessories based in Northfield, Ohio, according to a statement. The new company, Hy-Ko Products Company LLC, retained all previous employees. A manufacturer of nuts, bolts, anchors, deck and drywall screws and specialty fasteners, Midwest Fastener expands its product capabilities and enters a new North American market in the deal. The buyers were represented by Grand Rapids-based law firm Rhoades McKee PC
  • Grand Rapids-based Surge Cardiovascular has been acquired by Sycamore, Ill.-based MED Michigan Holdings LLC, an affiliate of medical device specialty distributor MED Alliance Solutions, according to a statement. Surge Cardiovascular is a medical device company that designs, develops and manufactures cardiopulmonary bypass cannula and cardioplegia delivery systems as well as blood management, organization and temperature management products. MED Alliance had been the exclusive distributor of Surge Cardiovascular’s products since 2012. 
  • Brown & Brown of Michigan Inc., a subsidiary of Daytona, Fla.-based Brown & Brown Inc., acquired substantially all of the assets of Grand Rapids-based insurance agency Buiten & Associates LLC, according to a statement. The Buiten & Associates team will continue operating its office in Grand Rapids under the leadership of Paul Buiten.
  • Traverse City-based High Street Insurance Partners acquired Capital Insurance Group, based in Bloomfield Hills. The acquisition was High Street’s third deal this month and sixth of 2020, according to a statement. Backed by Detroit private equity firm Huron Capital, High Street this month also acquired two agencies in upstate New York.
  • Muskegon marketing and advertising firm Ignite merged with New School, an agency also based in Muskegon. The merger expands New School’s marketing capabilities and capacity. The merged agency maintained its office in Muskegon and all existing staff. Justin Young joined the organization as senior program manager, and Ignite founder Larry Young serves as senior marketing specialist.
  • M. J. Van Damme Inc., a construction firm based in Gwinn, Mich. about 20 miles south of Marquette in the Upper Peninsula, was acquired by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based private equity firm Eberhart Capital LLC, according to a statement. The $20 million to $50 million deal adds trucking and quarry expertise to Eberhart’s existing construction portfolio. M. J. Van Damme Inc. employs 130 people and provides specialized construction support services to the mining, farming and civil construction industries. The firm also repurposes various wastes into materials used on construction projects. 

Federal contract

  • ATLAS Space Operations Inc., a Traverse City-based satellite communications company, was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research contract from NASA. The firm helps companies process and analyze data from space using a global antennae network. ATLAS was contracted to develop a satellite constellation management schedule tool for commercial and government use. The Northern Michigan firm was one of 124 small businesses in 31 states selected for the Phase II award. NASA handed out a combined $104 million. Under the initiative, NASA has asked ATLAS to develop a machine-to-machine scheduler that defines clear customer goals and allows the customer to prioritize communications tasks.

Financial services

  • Former Chemical Bank offices statewide now carry the TCF National Bank name. The Detroit-based TCF Financial on Aug. 10 completed the integration of the two banks after closing a year ago on the $3.6 billion merger with the former Chemical Financial Corp. The name change affected about 200 Chemical Bank offices in Michigan and Ohio.
  • Grand River Bank named Stephen Grey as vice president and Ada/Cascade market executive. Grey will lead the planned fourth quarter opening of the bank’s new regional headquarters on Crahen Avenue. Grey joined Grand River Bank in 2016 and is a senior member of the commercial banking team. An Ada resident, he previously worked as a commercial banker with the former Founders Bank & Trust.
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