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Published in Economic Development

Tribally owned firm acquires Re-source Industries Inc. of Muskegon

BY Monday, August 24, 2020 12:38pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Waséyabek Development Co., the non-gaming economic development arm of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians, continues to build out its portfolio of companies with the acquisition of a Muskegon-based manufacturer. 

In a deal that closed Aug. 20, Waséyabek acquired the family owned Re-source Industries Inc. from previous owners Paul and Randi Kuyt, who plan to remain with the company. 

Waséyabek President and CEO Deidra Mitchell COURTESY PHOTO

Muskegon-based Re-source Industries is a high-volume manufacturer of parts for a range of products, including ATVs, autos, snowmobiles and archery bows. The company, which employs 44 people, specializes in CNC machining and rapid prototyping and operates from a more than 40,000-square-foot facility on South Getty Street in Muskegon. 

Paul Kuyt will continue to run the daily operations of Re-Source Industries, which will be renamed RSI of West Michigan. 

Waséyabek President and CEO Deidra Mitchell told MiBiz the addition of Re-source Industries will complement existing portfolio company Baker Engineering, a Nunica-based designer and manufacturer of custom high-performance engines, engine components, and other parts and mechanical assemblies. 

Executives from Baker Engineering also will offer executive oversight of RSI. 

“Where Baker offers engineering, prototype development and low volume manufacturing, RSI offers higher production manufacturing,” Mitchell said. “Customers of both companies routinely need the services of these two sister manufacturing facilities and we’re targeting to provide their customer base with a high-quality, certified, one-stop shop.”

Mitchell said the deal “opens up a broader contingent of manufacturing services to both commercial and government customers.” 

Waséyabek engaged Grand Rapids-based Calder Capital LLC to source the deal. The parties had been in discussions since December 2019, according to Mitchell, who praised the company’s history of innovation and profitability.

“After meeting the Waséyabek team and assessing the situation, we are confident this is in the best interests of the company and the employees,” Paul Kuyt said in a statement. “When you operate a business your employees are part of your extended family. So we wanted to make sure the new owners had our same core values. Waséyabek clearly does.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

In addition to Baker Engineering and RSI of West Michigan, Waséyabek also operates several government contracting entities, including Waséyabek Federal Services LLC, which recently was awarded a $161 million contract from the Department of Energy to provide site operations and support services at three National Energy Technology Laboratory locations, as MiBiz previously reported.  

Waséyabek’s portfolio also includes real estate holdings in West Michigan and in the metro Detroit area. As well, the company partnered in January 2020 on a $17.5 million deal with Gun Lake Investments, the non-gaming economic development entity of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, to acquire the iconic McKay Tower in downtown Grand Rapids. 

The firm also is the majority owner of Grand Rapids-based DWH LLC, a succession planning, turnaround management and financial consulting services provider that also contracts with the federal government.

Collectively, Waséyabek employs 101 employees across its portfolio. 

Moving forward, Waséyabek expects to “pivot” its acquisition focus to look for opportunities in the middle market, Mitchell said. The firm continues to prospect within the state for operating company acquisitions in the $10 million to $30 million revenue range. 

Mitchell previously said the goal for Waséyabek was to complete up to three middle market deals by the end of 2022.

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