Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: July 18, 2022

BY Sunday, July 17, 2022 07:01pm

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for July 18, 2022:


  • Novi-based Learning Care Group Inc. has acquired AppleTree & Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool, a chain of 24 preschools in the Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo and Detroit markets, plus one preschool in Apex, N.C. AppleTree and Gilden Woods are assumed names of Grand Rapids-based EDAN Investments LLC. The brands will now join the portfolio Learning Care Group, the second-largest for-profit early education and child care provider in North America with more than 1,050 locations in 39 states, the District of Columbia and internationally. 
  • Traverse City-based National Vacuum Equipment Inc. has sold to Atlas Copco AB, an industrial tool maker based in Sweden, according to a statement. National Vacuum Equipment manufactures industrial vacuum pumps and systems for mobile tanker trucks. The company employs about 100 people and generates annual revenues of approximately $26 million. The deal allows Atlas Copco to gain market entry to the mobile vacuum market. National Vacuum will now operate as part of the Industrial Vacuum Division of Atlas Copco, a global manufacturer of compressors, vacuum solutions, generators, pumps, power tools and assembly systems with some 43,000 employees. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Walker-based Hydrolico US Inc. and parent company Hydrolico International Inc., based in Terrebonne, Quebec, were acquired by private equity-backed Bailey International LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of mobile hydraulic power solutions based in Knoxville, Tenn. Hydrolico manufactures and distributes hydraulic equipment and components, including hydraulic cylinders, manifolds, and valves. The deal expands Bailey’s product portfolio and adds new expertise in hydraulic and pneumatic component manufacturing and sourcing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Bailey International is a portfolio company of Birmingham, Ala.-based EBSCO Capital, a private equity firm that makes long-term investments in privately held, middle market companies in the professional services, industrial services, distribution and niche manufacturing sectors.
  • Grand Rapids-based data center and infrastructure firm Service Express Inc. has acquired two companies: Middleville-based cloud hosting provider ​​iInTheCloud LLC and Danbury, Conn.-based managed service provider iTech Solutions Group LLC. The deals expand Service Express’ IBM capabilities in the U.S. to mirror its offerings in the U.K., according to a statement. iTech has more than 20 years of experience as an IBM Gold Business Partner and serves clients in the financial services, manufacturing and retail sectors. Service Express also adds iTech’s certified technical consultants, IBM i system administrators and other skilled technicians. iTech uses infrastructure from iInTheCloud, which works with Tier III data centers in Michigan, located minutes away from Service Express’ headquarters. Since 2019, Service Express has been a portfolio company of Harvest Partners LP, a  New York-based private equity firm. 
  • Kalamazoo-based Stryker Corp. (NYSE: SYK) reached a definitive agreement last month to sell its Juvenile Tumour System to Parsippany, N.J.-based Onkos Surgical Inc., according to a statement. The Juvenile Tumour System enables limb stabilization and growth in pediatric patients affected by bone cancers, severe arthropathy, severe trauma, revisions, oncology and malignant diseases. The acquisition helps bolster Onkos Surgical’s business serving musculoskeletal oncology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Lansing-based food and animal safety products manufacturer Neogen Corp. (Nasdaq: NEOG) has acquired Bangkok, Thailand-based Thai-Neo Biotech Co. Ltd., according to a statement. Thai-Neo Biotech was established in 1992 and served as a distributor of Neogen’s food safety products in Thailand. The move allows Neogen to establish a direct presence in Thailand and southeast Asia, and complements similar operations strategies in India, China and Australia, Neogen Vice President of International Business Dr. Jason Lilly said in a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Alberta, Canada-based Capital Power Corp. (TSX: CPX) has formed a 50/50 joint venture with Manulife Investment Management to acquire all of the interests in MCV Holding Co., the owner of the 1,633-megawatt Midland Cogeneration Venture in Midland, Mich. The buyers will pay Toronto-based OMERS Infrastructure Management Inc. and its partners $894 million for the Michigan facility, including the assumption of $521 million in debt. The parties expect the transaction to close in the third quarter of this year, pending regulatory approvals and other closing conditions. Capital Power and Manulife will contribute $186 million each to the joint venture. Capital Power will finance the transaction using cash on hand and its credit facilities, and will be responsible for operations and maintenance of the facility. The companies describe the facilities as the largest gas-fired cogen plant in the U.S. with “highly contracted cash flows” with longtime customers, including Jackson-based Consumers Energy, Dow Silicones and agricultural and seed company Corteva Agriscience, which operates a plant in Midland. Built in 1990, the cogen facility is located on 1,200 acres of land leased from Consumers Energy.



  • W. R. Grace & Co. is expanding its contract development and manufacturing facility in South Haven which operates as part of the company’s Fine Chemical Manufacturing Services division. The addition of a new 4,000-gallon multi-use reactor will support the growth of Grace’s small molecule drug production, including custom active pharmaceutical ingredients. Sandra Wisniewski, president of Grace Materials Technologies, said in a statement that the added capacity “will enable our customers to develop critical drug therapies in areas such as oncology, diabetes, cardiovascular, and antivirals.” The company estimates the expansion will wrap up by January 2024. The South Haven facility serves the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and fine chemical industries. Grace acquired the business in June 2021 from Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB) in a deal valued at $570 million. Columbia, Md.-based Grace is a division of global industrial firm Standard Industries Inc. 
  • Hyperion Automation Inc., a custom automation solutions and systems integrator, expanded with a new 15,000-square-foot facility at 72 W. 64th St. near West Michigan Regional Airport in Holland. Hyperion expects to add about 12 jobs with the new facility, which doubled the company’s footprint. The company serves a range of manufacturing clients with self-driving vehicles, robotics, vision systems and full-system integrations.


Venture capital

  • Steelhead Technologies Inc., a manufacturing software firm based in Laurium in the Upper Peninsula, closed on $2.2 million in a seed funding round to expand sales and marketing, further develop its technology and add to its team. A pair of New York City-based venture capital firms, TIA Ventures and C2 Ventures, were among the investors in the round. Steelhead is developing a plant operating system software that uses digitization, automation and optimization to streamline the production process for more efficiency, according to a statement. Steelhead’s clients include companies in the surface finishing, heat treatment and additive manufacturing industries.
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