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Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: January 3, 2022

BY Sunday, January 02, 2022 07:00pm

Here's the MiBiz growth report for January 3, 2022.

M&A

  • Grand Rapids-based insurance broker and financial technology firm Acrisure LLC has acquired the managing general agency (MGA) and third-party administrator (TPA) operations of SUNZ Insurance, a Florida-based provider of workers’ compensation insurance. The deal aims to enhance Acrisure’s ability to underwrite, package and distribute related risk premiums through its global network of partners, according to an announcement. Acrisure will also gain access to technology platforms that can expedite the quoting and claims settlement process for customers. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
  • Barry Merrill, president and owner of Grand Ledge Ford Lincoln and Merrill Ford Okemos, sold the stores in December to Minnetonka, Minn.-based Morrie’s Automotive Group, according to a statement. Merrill owned Grand Ledge Ford Lincoln for almost 20 years and acquired Merrill Ford Okemos in 2019. The deal marks Morrie’s Automotive’s entry into the Michigan market and follows the company’s focus on strategic acquisitions in the Upper Midwest. Morrie’s Automotive is owned by Fremont Private Holdings, the investment arm of the Fremont Group, the family office of the Bechtel family. Clark Hill PLC and Holland & Knight LLP served as legal advisers in the deal. Denver, Colo.-based The Presidio Group and its wholly owned investment bank, Presidio Merchant Partners LLC, served as the exclusive M&A adviser to Merrill in the deal. 
  • Walker-based pallet management firm Kamps Inc. will expand its presence in the northeastern United States with the acquisition of Gorgo Group, a Vineland, N.J.-based pallet, packaging and logistics company founded in 1979. Gorgo’s pallet division specializes in full-service pallet recycling and custom pallet manufacturing. The company operates two facilities in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania and employs more than 200 people. All workers, along with the owners, will stay onboard under the deal. The Gorgo purchase was Kamps’ fifth strategic acquisition in 2021, and came a week after Kamps — which is backed by Los Angeles, Calif.-based private equity firm Freeman Spogli & Co. — acquired a pallet solutions provider in Iowa. Terms of the Gorgo deal were undisclosed.
  • Kamps Inc. also announced that it has acquired Greenway Products & Services LLC, which is headquartered in New Brunswick, N.J. Greenway Products is a pallet recycler and manufacturer that operates out of three facilities in the Tri-State area, where it stands as one of the largest pallet recyclers in the region. Greenway maintains a workforce of 225 employees. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
  • Lake Michigan Credit Union on Dec. 22 closed on the acquisition of Pilot Bank in Tampa, Fla. The six former Pilot Bank offices acquired in the deal give the Grand Rapids-based Lake Michigan Credit Union 19 branches in Southwest Florida. Lake Michigan Credit Union, with 65 offices in Michigan and Florida, at the end of the third quarter had $10.66 billion in assets, deposits of $9.15 billion and 420,165 members, according to a quarterly financial report to federal regulators. Pilot Bank had $638.4 million in assets and $556.7 million in deposits.
  • LV2 Equity Partners LLC, a Grand Rapids-based private equity firm, closed on a deal to acquire San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based Postmark Inc., the third bolt-on acquisition for its portfolio company Martin Yale Industries LLC. Postmark is a provider of letter openers and inkjet printer solutions for the packaging, printing, health care, pharmaceutical and automation industries. LV2 Managing Director John Pollock told MiBiz the deal came together at the end of 2021 after several months of negotiation. The deal complements Wabash, Ind.-based Martin Yale’s mailroom and packaging solutions and broadens its customer base, according to a statement. The company plans to move Postmark’s manufacturing to the Martin Yale facility in Indiana. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Dickinson Wright PLLC served as legal adviser on the deal; Plante Moran PC was the financial adviser.

Expansion

  • Tucson, Ariz.-based Mister Car Wash Inc. (NYSE: MCW) opened a new location at 294 84th Street in Byron Center to tap into the growth in the suburbs south of Grand Rapids, according to a statement. The company lists 28 Michigan locations on its website and operates more than 360 car washes nationwide. Mister Car Wash first entered the Grand Rapids market in 2017 and has grown via a string of acquisitions. The formerly private equity-backed company went public in mid 2021. 

Finance

  • Kit Snyder, the chief executive officer at Consumers Credit Union, plans to retire in mid 2022 after 38 years. Snyder has led the Kalamazoo-based Consumers Credit Union since 1983. During his tenure as president and CEO, Consumers Credit Union has grown nearly 18 percent annually to become one of the largest credit unions in Michigan, going from $3 million in total assets and three employees to about $1.7 billion in total assets with more than 400 employees. The credit union has more than 117,000 members. Directors who have been planning for leadership succession for five years named Chief Operations Officer Scott Sylvester as president and CEO upon Snyder’s retirement.

Health care

  • Mercy Health and behavioral health care provider Network180 plan to open a crisis center by late 2022 in Grand Rapids for people who need immediate care. The Behavioral Health Crisis Center planned in an existing medical office building at the Mercy Health Saint Mary’s hospital campus near downtown will include a 24-hour, walk-in Crisis Stabilization Unit where people in a mental health crisis can access intensive treatment. Under the public-private partnership, Mercy Health will provide medical services while Network 180 behavioral health care.
  • Access Health Inc., a small Muskegon health plan designed for small businesses, has reopened enrollment for the first time since 2018. The company had to halt new enrollments in 2018 and focus on existing enrollees after losing about $2 million in state and federal Medicaid funding that helped to pay the cost of health premiums for employees at participating small businesses. After securing a waiver for innovative health coverage that temporarily restored the lost funding, Access Health reopened enrollment in December for small businesses in Muskegon County and northern Ottawa County that are unable to afford commercial employee health coverage.

Real estate/development

  • A historic downtown Grand Rapids building that formerly housed J. Gardella’s Tavern has sold for $1.1 million, and the new owner plans renovations and a new restaurant concept. The sale of the building at 9 and 11 Ionia Ave. SW closed on Dec. 6, according to property records. Constructed in 1890, the three-story building was acquired by MJW Real Property Holdings LLC, which is registered to Michael Winks, president of lending and retail banking at Northpointe Bank. Winks purchased the building from longtime owner RJR Development Company LLC, which is registered to William Rabideau. Winks said last month that he is not yet ready to announce further details of the project. 
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