Published in Finance

Tribally owned GLI takes full operating control of technology firm with new investment

BY Wednesday, April 13, 2022 05:46pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Gun Lake Investments assumed full operating control through a new investment in Dallas, Texas-based Hall Technologies LLC, a designer and producer of professional audio/visual systems.

Gun Lake Investments — the non-gaming economic development arm of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, or Gun Lake Tribeinitially invested in Hall Technologies in 2018 alongside Grand Rapids-based private equity firm Blackford Capital.

Monica King, Gun Lake Investments CEO COURTESY PHOTO

Gun Lake Investments owned a majority stake in Hall Technologies and received a board seat, although Blackford Capital held operating control. 

The latest investment raises Gun Lake Investments’ majority stake in the company and transitions operating control to the tribally owned firm. Gun Lake Investments CEO Monica King also assumes the role of board chair.

“Now we’re actively managing it,” King said. “We’re talking about growth channels, we’re getting ready to launch new products and kind of just reinventing the board and the governance at this point, too, in how we want to operate.”

Terms of the transaction were undisclosed.

The transaction follows what King called a “misalignment of philosophies” and strategies that “were fundamentally different” between Gun Lake Investments and Blackford Capital over Hall Technologies’ operations.

Despite the differences that arose on the Hall Technologies investment, Gun Lake Investment remains open to partnering with other investors on deals.

“We need partners,” King said. “We’re not opposed to partners, but that alignment in strategy is really important.”

Hall Technologies designs and makes audio-visual technology solutions for hospitals, schools, corporate offices, entertainment venues and other sectors.

“We are ecstatic to take an even more active role alongside the great team at Hall Technologies as they continue to expand and excel in the high-growth professional A/V market,” King said in an announcement on the transaction. “We think there’s tremendous opportunity to leverage Hall’s outstanding reputation and brand in their core markets of health care, corporate IT and education.”

In a separate announcement on the transaction, Blackford Capital operating partner Stephen Parker said Hall Technologies now “is well-positioned to execute on its multi-year growth strategy having recently launched several new products.”

“We were honored to be partnered with the team at GLI during this time and are confident they will continue to be excellent stewards for Jason and his team at Hall as they pursue their next stage of growth,” Parker said. “Gun Lake Investments has the access to capital, customer relationships and unique structure that will be an ongoing excellent fit for Hall’s product line and goals, and we wish Hall great success under their new ownership.”

Most recently, a Blackford Capital portfolio company, Aqua-Leisure Recreation LLC, acquired Longwood, Fla.-based INYO Pool Products LLC, a brand of swimming pool supply, repair and maintenance products.

In February, an Ottawa County judge approved the sale of another portfolio company, Grand Power Systems Inc., to Macro Magnetics LLC, a new company set up by Wyoming-based RoMan Manufacturing Inc.

RoMan paid $2 million to acquire the assets of Grand Power Systems in a court-supervised sale that came after Blackford Capital agreed with Comerica Bank last September to move the company into receivership.

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