Published in Economic Development

MiBiz growth report: March 1, 2020

BY MIBIZ STAFF Sunday, March 01, 2020 10:06am

Here is the MiBiz growth report for March 1, 2020.


  • Allegan-based Perrigo Co. plc (NYSE: PRGO) plans to acquire the oral product line from Stamford, Conn.-based High Ridge Brands Inc., which filed for bankruptcy in December. The $113 million cash deal follows a bidding process and auction held Feb. 20 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The acquisition requires the approval of the Bankruptcy Court and could close in the first quarter. The acquisition would contribute more than $100 million in net sales to Perrigo in the first full year and build on the July 2019 acquisition of Grand Rapids-based Ranir Global Holdings LLC for $750 million.
  • Grand Rapids-based Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS) has divested coated steel manufacturer PolyVision Corp. of Atlanta to an affiliate of Industrial Opportunity Partners, an Evanston, Ill.-based private equity firm. The $74 million deal allows Steelcase to focus on “disciplined portfolio management in pursuit of growth.” Steelcase plans to use $41 million of the proceeds to pay off a note and use the remainder to invest in growth strategies, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. PolyVision makes a CeramicSteel product used in chalkboard and whiteboard surfaces and architectural cladding. Steelcase acquired PolyVision in 2001 for approximately $176 million, including $103 million in debt, according to SEC filings at the time. 
  • Howard Miller Clock Co. of Zeeland has divested its wood furniture manufacturing division, Alexis Manufacturing Co., to Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Roll & Hill Furniture LLC, according to a statement. Alexis Manufacturing operates a 30,000-square-foot facility in Walker and has manufactured complex wood components and wood seating for 75 years. The company serves the residential and hospitality market and also supplies to other OEMs in the fine furniture industry. Howard Miller Clock owned the company since 1983. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Grand Rapids-based Charter Capital Partners was the M&A adviser for Hancock-based Keweenaw Financial Corp., the parent company of Superior National Bank & Trust, in the $42 million acquisition of North Star Financial Holdings Inc., the Bingham Farms-based parent company of Main Street Bank in suburban Detroit. The combined bank will have 11 offices in the Upper Peninsula and Southeast Michigan with more than $800 million in total assets. Grosse Pointe Farms-based Olejniczak Advisors LLC, a financial services industry strategic consultant, and Grand Rapids-based law firm Warner Norcross + Judd LLP also advised Superior National on the deal. 
  • Kalamazoo-based Michigan Mobile Canning LLC has been acquired by Manchester, N.H.-based Iron Heart Canning Co., according to a report in industry trade publication Brewbound. Both companies provide mobile beverage canning services for breweries, cideries, wineries, distilleries and other beverage companies. Founded in 2013, Michigan Mobile Canning operated from locations in Kalamazoo and Indianapolis. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In a post on social media, an exec at Michigan Mobile Canning said all staffers at the company were staying on with the new ownership.
  • Industrial scales and weighing systems supplier D.C. Martin & Sons Scales Inc. of Wyoming, Mich. has been acquired by Columbus, Ohio-based Mettler-Toledo International Inc. (NYSE: MTD). D.C. Martin & Sons Scales operated as a family-owned business since its founding in 1955 and has grown to serve multiple industries including food processing, pharmaceutical, discrete manufacturing, agriculture and distribution. The company employs 19 people locally. Mettler-Toledo is a multinational manufacturer of scales and analytical instruments. Grand Rapids-based M&A firm Calder Capital LLC represented the company in the sale. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
  • Holt-based Business Management Resources Inc., a provider of managed accounting services to restaurant chains, has been acquired by Cincinnati, Ohio-based accounting and advisory firm Clark, Schaefer, Hackett & Co. Business Management Resources founder James Back and three employees will join Clark, Schaefer, Hackett’s East Lansing office. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Dykstra IT LLC, a provider of fully managed information technology services, recently merged into Quantum Leap Inc., a telecommunications provider. Staff from Dykstra IT moved into Quantum Leap’s facility on 44th Street in Grand Rapids and founder Drew Dykstra became a partner. Quantum Leap often used Dykstra IT when installing phone systems. The merger as well expands Quantum Leap’s client base and will help to drive growth. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. 


  • Pangea Reptile LLC, a manufacturer of pet products and distributor of small reptiles, is investing $1.3 million to expand its location in Zeeland Charter Township. The company, which currently employs around 20 people, bought an existing 35,000-square-foot facility on Pentatech Drive in Zeeland in 2019, according to a statement from Lakeshore Advantage Corp. The expansion is expected to increase the company’s manufacturing footprint by 17,000 square feet and add 13 jobs. 
  • Supply chain management and warehouse supply company JetCo Federal Supply is expanding with a new space in Cascade Township. JetCo Federal entered a long-term lease for a new 16,100-square-foot mixed-use space at 5575 Kraft Ave. SE in Cascade Township. The company currently has an office at 525 Ottawa Ave. NW, just north of downtown Grand Rapids. First Companies Inc. of Grand Rapids is the contractor on the project. The new office space will house 26 employees, and features a training room, conference rooms, a kitchen and bar area, reception area and warehouse. 
  • Kalamazoo-based Bronson Healthcare Group plans to develop a new $21 million outpatient surgical center for orthopedic cases. Construction on the surgery center could begin this spring off Beatrice Drive at I-94 and 9th Street in Texas Township, pending state certificate-of-need approval. Completion is targeted for late 2021. 

Real estate

  • Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital has purchased parcels at 438 La Grave Ave. SE and 443 Jefferson Ave. SE in Grand Rapids for future expansion. Mary Free Bed acquired the properties in December for $1.3 million. The properties total nearly an acre combined and include a 20,000-square-foot commercial/industrial building and a small parking lot. Mary Free Bed got interested in the properties when it heard the former owner was looking to sell, according to a spokesperson. The timing of developing the properties remains unknown, and the organization has no plans for either parcel at this time. 


  • Zeeland-based furniture maker Herman Miller Inc. (Nasdaq: MLHR) is partnering with a division of Logitech International (Nasdaq: LOGI) for the research, design and manufacture of furniture solutions for esports athletes and gamers. The exclusive partnership builds off both companies’ design and engineering expertise, according to a statement. As part of the partnership, Herman Miller and Logitech G will seek feedback from esports teams and incorporate that into new products, the first of which, a gaming chair, is set to launch this spring. According to a December 2019 report from Business Insider, the growing global esports market was expected to exceed $1 billion in revenue in 2019 and reach $1.5 billion by 2023.


  • Mokena, Ill.-based Bear Down Logistics Inc., a final mile logistics company that lost a contract to deliver packages for e-commerce giant Amazon.com, expects the close its Walker East facility, located at 2935 Walkent Drive NW in Walker, on April 13. The company operates a fleet of vans that deliver packages to customers. The company said in a notice to the state that the permanent closure will result in 110 people losing their jobs. 
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