Here is the MiBiz Growth report for May 23, 2022:
- West Michigan manufacturing automation firm Churchill Technologies LLC has been sold amid what local advisers describe as a “red hot” sector for M&A. The Grand Haven-based Churchill Technologies, which designs and builds special purpose assembly and test equipment, was sold in late April to the Huizenga Group, which owns and operates a portfolio of businesses involved in tool and die, machining and engineering. The Huizenga Group supplies industries ranging from automotive and office furniture to consumer goods and pharmaceuticals. The Huizenga Group’s presence in the manufacturing space — and its understanding of industrial automation — made it the right buyer, Churchill Technologies owner and President Tim Walker said in an announcement of the sale.
- Wood products and building materials manufacturer UFP Industries Inc. announced that it has purchased an Iowa-based plastic recycler. Through its affiliate, Deckorators Inc., which specializes in composite decking and railing, UFP Industries purchased Tipton, Iowa-based Cedar Poly LLC for $17 million, which includes incentive payments of up to $1.5 million over three years for meeting specified performance goals. As a full-service plastics recycler, Cedar Poly should make sourcing for composite decking material easier for Deckorators, according to company officials. In 2021, Cedar Poly recorded sales of around $17.3 million.
- Northern Michigan precision machining company Bridge Tool & Die has been sold to an individual investor. The Buckley-based company, which was founded in 2005 by sole owner Glenn Bridgman, recently closed on the sale of the business to investor Rick Watson, an engineer with experience in the aerospace, automotive and industrial sectors. Bridge Tool & Die, which services the oil, natural gas, electronics, home appliance, medical device, automotive and packaging industries, worked alongside Grand Rapids-based M&A advisory firm Calder Capital LLC to complete the deal.
- Chicago-area insurance brokerage and financial services firm Alera Group has acquired West Michigan Insurance Inc., a Grand Rapids property and casualty insurance agency. The 98-year-old West Michigan Insurance, which also has offices in Shelby and Hart, will become a division of Grand Rapids-based Lighthouse Group insurance agency that Alera acquired in late 2020. West Michigan Insurance will take on the Lighthouse name later this year. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Alera Group has more than 150 offices across the U.S., including 10 in Michigan, with more than 3,500 employees. Alera acquired Lighthouse in December 2020 and this past January bought Gales Agency from Shelby State Bank. The deal extended Lighthouse’s presence to markets northwest of Grand Rapids to offices in Shelby, Hart, Pentwater and Whitehall.
- Walters Gardens Inc. is investing $9.15 million to expand its operations in Zeeland Charter Township with a new 40,000-square-foot greenhouse. The project marks the first phase of a planned 10-year, multiphase project for the wholesale perennial grower that was founded in 1946. Construction will begin this spring and the company expects to retain five existing jobs and create 50 new jobs. Four acres of automated greenhouses also are part of the expansion plans.
- State agriculture officials have announced $200,000 in grant funding to support a Norton Shores coffee producer’s expansion that would create the largest cold brew production facility in the United States. La Colombe Coffee Roasters, a coffee roaster founded in 1994 in Philadelphia, Pa., and known for its ready-to-drink canned lattes, purchased a production plant in Norton Shores in 2016. The company plans a two-part expansion …….