Published in Finance
Grand Equipment Co.’s headquarters in Hudsonville. Grand Equipment Co.’s headquarters in Hudsonville. COURTESY PHOTO

Blackford Capital sells Hudsonville construction equipment dealer amid recent exits

BY Thursday, June 16, 2022 11:43am

GRAND RAPIDS – Private equity firm Blackford Capital has sold Grand Equipment Co. in Hudsonville to Chicago-based investment firm Cognitive Capital Partners LLC.

The exit comes seven years after the Grand Rapids-based Blackford Capital acquired Grand Equipment, a dealer for new and used heavy construction equipment and parts.

“We successfully partnered with the Blackford team to grow the organization and look forward to a future of additional regional growth, deepened market share and an increased footprint,” Grand Equipment CEO Jeff Grasman said in an announcement on the deal.

Cognitive Capital Partners invests in technical and business services, as well as manufacturing and industrial products and services. Terms of the sale by Blackford’s Michigan Prosperity Fund were undisclosed.

“Although we faced several challenges along the way — not the least of which was the market downturn driven by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic — ultimately our work with Jeff and the Grand Equipment team has delivered a positive return to our investors. Cognitive Capital will be a strong partner for Grand Equipment to deliver steady growth across short, medium and long-term perspectives,” said Martin Stein, Blackford Capital’s founder and managing director.

The Grand Equipment sale was the latest for Blackford Capital.

In a deal announced earlier this week, International Inc., a subsidiary of Carolina Wholesale Group, said it acquired Buffalo Grove, Ill.‐based International Toner Co., Reno, Nevada‐based Supplies Wholesalers, and Illinois‐based Cartridge World USA from Blackford Capital.

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