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Published in Economic Development

MiBiz Growth Report: Sept. 12, 2021

BY Sunday, September 12, 2021 10:56am

This is the MiBiz growth report for September 12, 2021.


  • Perrigo Co. plc plans to buy a European maker of over-the-counter self-care products for $2.1 billion in cash, the company announced last week. The proposed acquisition of Paris-based HRA Pharma from investment firms Astorg and Goldman Sachs Asset Management would strengthen Perrigo’s position in Europe and add $472 million in sales and $1 in per-share adjusted earnings by 2023. The deal could close by the end of the first half in 2022, pending regulatory approvals. The proposed acquisition follows the sale of Perrigo’s generic drug business to Altaris Capital Partners LLC for $1.55 billion in a deal that closed in July. Perrigo intends to finance the transaction with cash on hand.
  • Kalamazoo-based Fabri-Kal Corp., a family-owned foodservice and consumer brand packaging manufacturer, has signed a definitive agreement to sell to Lake Forest, Ill.-based Pactiv Evergreen Inc. (Nasdaq: PTVE) in a deal valued at approximately $380 million. In the 12-month period that ended June 30, Fabri-Kal generated $334 million in sales, with adjusted EBITDA of $54 million, according to an investor presentation. Fabri-Kal has been in operation since 1950 and employs approximately 1,000 people at four manufacturing plant locations in the U.S. The company makes foodservice and custom thermoformed plastic packaging solutions for North American customers. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as financial adviser for Fabri-Kal, with Grand Rapids-based Clark Hill PLC acting as legal adviser.
  • Grand Rapids-based Service Express LLC, a third-party data center maintenance service provider, bolstered its international presence with the acquisition of U.K.-based The ICC Group, a 25-year-old data center services firm. Private equity-backed Service Express said acquiring the company fits with its strategy to grow its global data center services business and add to its capabilities in the U.K., where earlier this year it also acquired Blue Chip Customer Engineering Ltd. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Since 2019, Service Express has been a portfolio company of Harvest Partners LP, a New York City-based private equity firm.
  • Dowagiac-based ​​Specialty Resin & Chemical LLC was acquired by Easton, Pa.-based Polytek Development Corp., a portfolio company of Arsenal Capital Partners, a New York City-based private equity firm. Founded in 2007, Specialty Resin & Chemical is a supplier of mold making, casting, and coating products, including bar top epoxy resin and polyurethane resin for hobbyists and artists. Owner Daniel Wilson plans to remain active in the business, which will complement Polytek’s existing consumer brands, according to a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Polytek, which has an existing operation in Galesburg, was advised on the deal by Atlanta, Ga.-based Genesis Capital LLC.
  • Ada-based Century Technology Group Inc. added to its portfolio of technology-focused companies with the acquisition of Th3rd Coast Digital Solutions, a Grand Haven-based emerging tech and media firm. Th3rd Coast specializes in virtual and augmented reality, video production and e-learning. The deal marks Century Technology Group’s third acquisition in the past two years. Century Technology Group is a family office that provides tech companies with growth capital, administrative resources and managerial consulting. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Grand Rapids-based Fusion IT and Millennia Technologies recently announced that the two I.T. companies have merged. The firms have differing specialties: Fusion IT focuses mainly on managed services and cybersecurity for a variety of industries while Millennia, which has been in business for more than 25 years, serves as a local leader in unified communications as a service (UCaaS). “As a Mitel Gold Partner with a vast portfolio of consultative cloud services, Millennia is a proven market leader in unified communications and carrier services solutions. I am humbled for the privilege to lead these two synergistic companies,” Fusion IT CEO Michael Waldschlager said in a statement.
  • Grand Rapids-based PR agency Lambert & Co. has acquired The Vandiver Group Inc., a St. Louis-based strategic communications and market research firm. The deal is Lambert’s fourth transaction in the last two years and bolsters its integrated service offerings. CEO Jeff Lambert said his firm has partnered with The Vandiver Group for around eight years and found it to be a good fit as long-time president and CEO Donna Vandiver was looking to exit. “This adds a dedicated research team,” Lambert told MiBiz. “The analytics business is one that continues to grow and is critical to measuring campaigns and consumer sentiment. That’s a definite addition.”
  • Illinois-based US LBM Holdings Inc., a privately held distributor of specialty building materials and the parent company of Zeeland Lumber & Supply Co., has acquired another Michigan business. US LBM announced that it has acquired Traverse City-based Northern Building Supply LLC, a provider of lumber and other specialty building products such as windows, doors, decking and cabinetry. Northern Building Supply has been in business since 1904 and operates locations in Traverse City and Suttons Bay. The company’s owner, George Cochran, will leave the business upon the acquisition.
  • Zeeland-based auto supplier Gentex Corp. has acquired Israeli startup business Guardian Optical Technologies, which has developed a sensor technology capable of facilitating more effective driver and cabin monitoring. Guardian, which was founded in 2014, utilizes an infrared-sensitive, high-resolution camera that combines machine vision, depth perception and micro-vibration detection to monitor the cabin and driver. “Our goal is to provide automakers with holistic cabin monitoring solutions, from simple driver monitoring through complete cabin monitoring and machine olfaction,” Gentex Chief Technology Officer Neil Boehm said in a statement.


  • Shoulder Innovations Inc. moved from Holland to a new corporate headquarters in Grand Rapids. The new building “is a cornerstone of the company’s continued growth and will support the ongoing expansion of operations in the U.S.,” the company said. Shoulder Innovations, which developed a shoulder replacement system, tripled staff in 2021, and the new facility is six times larger than the company’s prior home.

Health care

  • Bronson Healthcare plans to proceed next month with construction on a $19.3 million outpatient surgery center that was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Groundbreaking for the Bronson Outpatient Surgery Center at Interstate 94 and 9th Street in Texas Township is now scheduled for mid October. An opening is targeted for spring 2023.


  • ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. has raised $32.5 million in capital through a private placement of subordinate debt. The Sparta-based parent corporation of ChoiceOne Bank (Nasdaq: COFS) intends to use the proceeds for “general corporate purposes, including support for organic growth plans, possible redemption of senior debt, common stock repurchases and support for bank-level capital ratios,” according to an announcement. D.A. Davidson & Co. served as placement agent for the transaction and was represented by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. Warner Norcross + Judd LLP served as legal counsel.
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