Blackford acquires Grand Transformers

Blackford Capital has acquired Grand Haven, Mich.-based Grand Transformers, Inc, a designer and manufacturer of transformers and inductive components serving the drives, elevator, power quality, instrumentation, energy and oil and gas industries. The acquisition is the third in Blackford’s Michigan Prosperity Fund.

PRESS RELEASE

Continuing to build on its commitment to invest Michigan private equity in Michigan-based companies, Blackford Capital today announced the acquisition of Grand Haven, Mich.-based Grand Transformers, Inc. (GTI), a designer and manufacturer of transformers and inductive components serving the drives, elevator, power quality, instrumentation, energy and oil and gas industries.
Blackford Capital, a national private equity firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich. that acquires, manages and builds middle-market manufacturing, distribution and service companies, said the acquisition is the third in the firm’s Michigan Prosperity Fund. The Fund, created in 2012, aims to generate best-in-class equity returns for investors within the state of Michigan, and also to support the local economy by protecting and creating jobs locally. Blackford previously acquired Grand Rapids-based Custom Profile, Inc. and Metro Detroit-based Mopec under the Fund.
Grand Transformers was founded in 1948 by K.C. Retzlaff. The company was purchased from Retzlaff by his two sons, Greg and Jerry, in 1973 and currently employs 70 people at its 55,000-square-foot facility in Grand Haven.
“Grand Transformers’ advanced engineering and lean manufacturing operations have made the Company the market leader in its field,” said Jeff Helminski, managing director of Blackford Capital. “We are honored that Greg and Jerry have entrusted their family legacy to our stewardship, and are excited to work with the existing GTI management team to grow the company and create jobs in Michigan.”
Blackford Capital will be implementing a board of directors and employing operating partners to support the management team and the growth of the business. Ed Smith, currently GTI’s chief operating officer, will be promoted to CEO and will continue to lead the GTI team.
“Blackford Capital brings a wealth of strategic knowledge and financial resources to GTI,” said Smith. “We look forward to working closely with Blackford to grow our existing business, expand into new markets, and add more jobs in the community.”
Comerica Bank and Huntington Bank provided financing for the transaction.
GTI’s Board of Directors will consist of: Jeff Helminski, Blackford Capital managing director; Ed Smith, CEO of Grand Transformers; Wesley MacAllister, Blackford Capital operating partner and former vice president of manufacturing at Cascade Engineering; Shreedhar Shah, president of power systems engineering firm Shah and Associates; Robert Roth, president of transformer manufacturer RoMan Manufacturing, as well as others to be named at a later date. All board members have strong ties to Michigan and a depth of talent and expertise that will be instrumental to GTI’s continued growth.
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 six portfolio companies employing more than 950 people and with 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 26 transactions in the past seven years. Grand Transformers is Blackford’s sixth portfolio company and its third 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 Grand Transformers
GTI is a custom designer and manufacturer of inductive components that include Power Transformers, Line/Load Reactors and DC Chokes. GTI specializes in providing highly engineered dry type custom products that meet the unique requirements of Fortune 100 OEM’s in a variety of markets, some of which include: Adjustable Speed Drives, Elevators, Power Quality, Medical, Energy/Renewables, Oil and Gas and HVAC. For over 65 years GTI has been providing specialized, reliable and cost effective solutions to its customers’ needs. For more information, visit www.gtipower.com.
SOURCE Blackford Capital