Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: December 6, 2020

BY Sunday, December 06, 2020 11:07am

Here's the MiBiz Growth Report for December 6, 2020.


  • Fruitport-based medical device supplier Motion Dynamics LLC, a portfolio company since 2016 of Los Angeles-based private equity firm Vance Street Capital, has completed its first add-on acquisition with a deal for ViaMed Holdings LLC. The Easton, Mass.-based ViaMed manufactures miniature precision components and subassemblies for medical device manufacturers in the neurovascular, peripheral vascular and orthopedic markets. The deal complements Motion Dynamics’ capabilities and allows the company to “simplify the supply chain” for device manufacturers, President Chris Witham said in a statement. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Motion Dynamics was advised by Chicago-based Vedder Price LLP, while Attleboro, Mass.-based Coogan Smith LLP served as legal adviser to ViaMed.
  • Caledonia-based Aspen Surgical Products Inc. completed its third acquisition in less than a year after buying Coralville, Iowa-based Protek Medical Products Inc. The acquisition “strengthens Aspen’s broad portfolio of medical and patient and staff safety products sold into hospital and surgery center markets,” according to the company. Protek Medical Products produces single-use ultrasonic probe covers and needle guides used in tissue biopsies, fluid aspiration and vascular procedures, as well as protective covers for medical instruments and equipment. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Aspen Surgical, a maker of disposable surgical products, previously acquired Arden, N.C.-based Precept Medical Products and Redmond, Wash.-based Beatty Marketing & Sales LLP.
  • New York City-based private equity firm ASGARD Partners & Co. has acquired a controlling interest in Angstrom Technology, a Grand Rapids-based company that designs, builds and maintains modular cleanrooms for clients in North America. Angstrom Technology’s management team will continue to lead the company. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Grand Rapids-based M&A firm Charter Capital Partners represented Angstrom Technology in the transaction. Dickinson Wright PLLC served as legal adviser to Angstrom, while Richmond, Va.-based McGuireWoods LLP advised ASGARD Partners.
  • Albion-based Caster Concepts Inc., which designs and manufactures industrial casters and wheels for a variety of industries, expanded into the aerospace and defense sectors with a deal for Los Angeles-based Aerol Co. Inc. The acquisition included Aerol’s line of aluminum casters specifically designed for the aerospace tooling industry, which bolsters Caster Concepts’ product line of heavy-duty industrial casters, wheels and polyurethane tread. Caster Concepts plans to close Aerol’s southern California operations and move it to its home facility in Albion. The company also plans to outsource the production of aluminum castings to a foundry in West Michigan. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Greenville-based FabX Industries Inc., a provider of machining and fabrication services, acquired Fort Wayne-based Guide Engineering LLC in a deal that closed Oct. 31. Guide Engineering specializes in designing and manufacturing automation, assembly and test systems primarily for the automotive industry. The acquisition adds capabilities to FabX, which is focused on high-quality, cost-effective and value-added machining and fabrication services. FabX President Gopi Ganta will now take on the CEO role at Guide Engineering, where former co-owner Scott Taylor will serve as president. The deal allowed two of Taylor’s partners to transition to retirement. Grand Rapids-based mergers and acquisitions firm NuVescor Group advised Guide Engineering on the deal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. FabX Industries previously acquired Kalamazoo-based Elite Tooling LLC in late summer.
  • Chicago-based Factorial Holdings acquired 26 existing Burger King restaurants in the Grand Rapids area, where it plans to construct 10 new locations of the fast food chain over the next five years. Factorial Holdings specializes in buying restaurant companies where founders are interested in transitioning. The firm invests in family-owned companies with $500,000 to $5 million in annual earnings.

Venture capital

  • The innovation and investment arm of Grand Rapids-based food distributor Gordon Food Service participated in a $4 million funding round for MarginEdge Co., a Fairfax, Va.-based restaurant management software firm. Relish Works Inc., the GFS division based in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago that makes minority seed and early-stage investments in companies involved in food industry innovations, joined the round as a new investor in MarginEdge, which to date has raised more than $15 million. Philadelphia-based venture capital firm Osage Venture Partners led the round, which included all repeat investors except for Relish Works, according to a statement. GFS CEO Rich Wolowski said the investment not only signifies the company’s “excitement for the MarginEdge product, but the impact we think it can have on our customers and the industry at large.”


  • Grand Rapids-based Total Fire Protection Inc., a family-owned business that has specialized primarily in fire sprinkler and extinguisher services, has launched a new Total Fire & Security division to provide a more complete line of life safety services. The company is now able to provide new services that include installation, inspections and service for fire alarms and security alarms in addition to central station alarm monitoring, building access control, security cameras and nurse call systems. The move came as customers signaled to the company that they were looking for one-stop-shop solutions, Total Fire Protection President Ryan Goossens told MiBiz.


  • Grand Rapids-based Lake Michigan Credit Union opened a full-service branch on East Main Avenue in Zeeland. LMCU, the largest credit union in Michigan, has 55 offices, including 11 in southwest Florida. The credit union had nearly 400,000 members and $8.73 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, according to a quarterly financial report to federal regulators.

Health insurance

  • Priority Health plans to give large employers a rebate on their employee health coverage, a result of lower medical claims during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rebate will appear on February invoices for employers with 51 or more employees and range from 5 to 35 percent of one month’s premium for more than 1,000 fully funded large group employers that collectively employ about 260,000 people. Priority Health will base rebates on the medical claims trend for each employer over a 12-month period through Sept. 30.

Health care

  • Bronson Methodist Hospital and Ascension Borgess, both located in Kalamazoo, were named among the top 50 heart hospitals in the U.S. by Fortune and IBM Watson Health. Ascension Borgess was listed among the top 20 cardiovascular teaching hospitals in Fortune and IBM Watson Health’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals for 2021. Bronson Methodist was among the top 20 teaching hospitals. Other Michigan hospitals named among the top 50 heart hospitals are St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital, McLaren Macomb Hospital in Mt. Clemens, and McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey.

Public relations

  • Long-time media and public relations professional Tim Dye has launched a strategic communications firm, Dye Communications LLC. The firm provides internal and external communications services that include media relations and coaching, issue management, crisis communications, digital media strategies, community relations and business publication support. Dye previously led the Grand Rapids office of Truscott Rossman LLC.
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