Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: Nov. 21, 2022

BY Sunday, November 20, 2022 07:14pm


  • Walker-based electrical solutions firm Feyen Zylstra LLC will sell off its Industrial Tech division to Netherlands-based ATS Global, a manufacturing I.T., automation and controls, product lifecycle management and manufacturing enterprise solutions company. About 40 Feyen Zylstra employees in West Michigan and North Carolina will transition over the next month to ATS Global. The Industrial Tech division accounted for about 10 percent of Feyen Zylstra’s business, CEO Nate Koetje told MiBiz. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Grand Rapids-based law firm Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey PLC advised Feyen Zylstra on the transaction. The full transition of the business and employees is expected to be finalized as of Jan. 1, 2023. 
  • Troy-based accounting and advisory firm Rehmann plans to acquire Rivertown Finance LLC in Grand Rapids. The deal for Rivertown Finance, which works primarily with high net worth individuals, nonprofit and for-profit entities, is effective Dec. 1. Terms were undisclosed. Rivertown Finance’s staff will join Rehmann. Rivertown’s owner, Roxanne Dudicz, will become a principal at Rehmann and a member of the accounting solutions executive team. 
  • Kentwood-based hot tub manufacturer Nordic Products Inc. has sold to Monomoy Capital Partners LP, a Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm that’s been consolidating the industry. Nordic Products operates from a 111,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Kentwood where it makes high-density polyethylene hot tub shells. The company specializes in therapeutic hot tubs for residential customers in North America and Europe aimed at the “affordable luxury” market. Nordic Products was advised on the deal by Calder Capital LLC, Varnum LLP and Beene Garter, A Doeren Mayhew Firm.
  • New York City-based Marubeni-Itochu Steel America Inc., the North American subsidiary of Tokyo-based Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc., has acquired a Jackson-based steel processing plant from Worthington Specialty Processing, according to a statement. Worthington Specialty Processing is a 51 percent/49 percent joint venture of Columbus, Ohio-based steel processor Worthington Industries Inc. (NYSE: WOR) and Pittsburgh, Pa.-based U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE: X). Worthington Industries disclosed that the all-cash transaction was valued at approximately $21.3 million. Birmingham-based investment banking firm Angle Advisors LLC advised Worthington Specialty Processing on the sale. 
  • Walker-based pallet solutions firm Kamps Inc. is acquiring Newton, Iowa-based Realm Companies LLC to bolster its presence in the Midwest and expand its service capabilities. The private equity-backed Realm Companies offers a range of pallet manufacturing, pallet recovery and pallet recycling services across a five-state service area including Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, and New Jersey. The firm also serves as the parent company to WestWind Logistics LLC, a freight services, reverse logistics, and on-site pallet services provider. The seller in the deal was Mission Woods, Mo.-based private equity firm Great Range Capital.
  • West Michigan Tree Services, an operating company of Grand Rapids-based Grand Arbor Group Inc., has been acquired by SavATree LLC, a private equity-backed professional tree and shrub care company based in New Bedford, N.Y. West Michigan Tree Services offers tree care, tree pruning, tree removal and stump grinding, and land and lot clearing services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. SavATree is a portfolio company of London-based Apax Funds LLP. Grand Rapids-based Charter Capital Partners advised West Michigan Tree Services on the deal. 
  • B&L Bolt Inc., which has locations in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, and Portage-based Slip-On Lock Nut LLC were acquired by Connecticut-based Colony Hardware Corp., a portfolio company of Boston-based Audax Private Equity. B&L Bolt primarily serves electric and mechanical contractors and manufacturers with a specialization in cleanroom facilities. Slip-On Lock Nut produces specialty nuts that can be positioned on threaded rods at any point and locked in place. Grand Rapids-based Calder Capital LLC served as the exclusive financial adviser to the sellers, while Grand Rapids-based law firm Rhoades McKee PC served as legal counsel. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Grand Rapids-based Blackford Capital acquired Starfire Direct, a Temecula, Calif.-based maker of fireplaces, gas fire pits and high-end custom products for residential and commercial uses. Starfire Direct became part of Blackford Capital’s Patio Consolidation portfolio that offers products within the home outdoor space. The acquisition was the first part of a plan to “consolidate several participants in this space and create a business that will deliver hyper-growth through significant synergies and create a competitive advantage over time,” according to a statement.
  • Harbor Springs-based yacht sales and service company and marina operator Walstrom Marine Inc. has purchased Grand Bay Marine Inc., a full-service marine dealership with locations in Traverse City and Charlevoix. The deal expands the marine holdings for Grand Rapids-based Continuum Ventures LLC, the family office for Doug and Maria DeVos that invested in Walstrom Marine in 2021. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Grand Bay Marine’s 38 employees will remain with the company. Grand Rapids-based Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey PLC served as legal adviser to the buyers on the deal. 
  • Grand Rapids-based Acrisure LLC acquired New York City-based Homefield IT as part of its Cyber Services division that offers solutions that address critical risks posed by cyberattacks. Homefield IT is a full-service technology provider for businesses across the U.S., specializing I.T. services that include cloud and digital transformation to help businesses increase productivity, prevent cyber attacks and foster growth. 

Joint venture

  • A trio of non-gaming tribal economic development entities has formed a rare real estate development, construction and property management joint venture that’s considered the first of its kind in the Midwest. Aki Construction LLC brings together Harbor Springs-based Odawa Economic Affairs Holding Corp. (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), Dowagiac-based Mno-Bmadsen (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians) and Grand Rapids-based Gun Lake Investments (Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians). Aki aims to become a leader for tribal construction projects within the Midwest and across the country, according to a statement.


  • Grand Rapids-based Elevator Service LLC, an elevator service company serving the Midwest, has partnered with elevator industry veteran Steve Fedel to open Bloomington, Minn.-based Twin Cities Elevator LLC. With the expansion, ESI has now added five new markets in the last year. ESI is a portfolio company of Carroll Capital LLC, a Greenwich, Conn.-based family office.
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