Blackford Capital invests in Burgaflex North America

Blackford Capital has invested in Burgaflex North America, which makes coolant system tubes and hose assemblies for heavy trucks. This is the fourth deal from Blackford’s Michigan Prosperity Fund.

Press Release

Blackford Capital, a national private equity firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., today announced its investment in Fenton, Mich.-based Burgaflex North America, a leading manufacturer of coolant system tube and hose assemblies serving the heavy truck, agricultural and off-road markets. The transaction is the fourth by Blackford’s Michigan Prosperity Fund.

Burgaflex NA currently employs 350 people at its 200,000-square-foot facilities and serves heavy equipment customers including Caterpillar Inc., Deere & Company (John Deere), AB Volvo and Daimler Group.

“Burgaflex is a perfect fit for the Michigan Prosperity Fund,” said Martin Stein, managing director of Blackford Capital. “The company’s focus on exceptional customer service and quality manufacturing has helped it build a strong reputation and a great growth trajectory. Our investment will help to grow the business and also bring jobs to one of the areas of Michigan hardest hit during the economic recession. We look forward to participating in the long-term success of both Burgaflex and the greater Flint region.”

“Blackford Capital is exactly the partner we were looking for to help us strengthen our business and achieve our long-term growth objectives,” said David Kennedy, CEO of Burgaflex NA. “Their investment in Burgaflex will be good for the company, our employees and our community as we expand our operations, create new jobs and bring added products and resources to our customers.”

The Michigan Prosperity Fund, created in 2012, invests in Michigan companies to generate best-in-class equity returns, and also supports the Michigan economy by protecting and creating jobs locally. Grand Rapids-based Custom Profile, Inc., Metro Detroit-based Mopec, and Grand Haven-based Grand Transformers, Inc. are the other three companies currently in the fund.

Burgaflex NA began operations in 2004 and both owners, Kennedy and David Bubnar, will remain with the company following Blackford’s acquisition. Kennedy will continue to serve as CEO and Bubnar as a consultant.

Mercantile Bank Corp. and Capitala Finance Corp. provided financing for the transaction.

Blackford Capital also announced, in line with its commitment to support its management teams and the expansion of the business, that it has named 10 people to the Burgaflex board of directors:

Martin Stein, Blackford Capital
David Kennedy, Burgaflex
David Bubnar, Burgaflex
Fred Hubacker, Conway MacKenzie
Birgit Klohs, The Right Place
Larry Miller, Crystal Associates
Rick Granata, Ford Motor Company (retired)
Tom Saeli, JRB Enterprises
Todd Courts, Pace Trailer
Johann Finkelmeier, Goodyear

About Blackford Capital
Blackford Capital is a private equity firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich., that acquires, manages and builds middle-market manufacturing, distribution and service companies, with seven portfolio companies that employ more than 1,300 people and generate combined revenues of approximately $225 million. Blackford has offices in Grand Rapids (headquarters) and Santa Monica, CA. Blackford Capital reviewed roughly 3,400 transactions in 2013, and has closed 27 transactions in the past seven years. Burgaflex is Blackford’s seventh portfolio company and its fourth in Michigan. The firm’s investment criteria includes mature, profitable businesses with revenues between $20 million and $100 million, and with management teams that are either willing to remain with the company or are seeking to retire. For more information, visit www.blackfordcapital.com.

About Burgaflex NA
Burgaflex NA is a leading manufacturer of tube and hose assemblies for the heavy truck and agriculture markets. Since 2004, Burgaflex has been meeting the growing needs of a diverse range of customers by focusing on manufacturing quality products at competitive prices. For more information, visit www.burgaflexna.com.

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