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Private equity firm acquires construction equipment dealer

December 14, 2015
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Grand Equipment Company SkyTrak Telehandler
Grand Equipment Company in Hundsonville is a dealer of heavy-duty construction equipment. Photo via grandequipment.com

A private equity firm has acquired a family owned company in the area after recognizing its potential for growth.

Blackford Capital in Grand Rapids said today that its Michigan Prosperity Fund has acquired Hudsonville-based Grand Equipment Company, a dealer of heavy-equipment construction equipment.

The deal

Blackford’s investment in Grand Equipment is the sixth transaction by the firm’s Michigan Prosperity Fund, which focuses exclusively on businesses with significant operations in the state to create returns for investors and support the Michigan economy.

Grand Equipment, founded in 2000 by Jeff and Matt Grasman, will maintain its current management team, and Jeff Grasman will continue to serve in his role as chief executive officer.

“We’re very pleased to join forces with the Blackford Capital team and are enthused by the potential they see in our company,” Jeff Grasman said. “We are excited to partner with Blackford for continued success, as they provide our team with the right resources and talent to bring our business to the next level of performance and growth.”

Martin Stein, founder and managing director at Blackford Capital, said the firm saw immense potential in the quality of products and service Grand Equipment provides and will look to capitalize on opportunities to grow the company into a leading construction equipment provider.

“We are extremely impressed with Jeff and Matt’s leadership, and we are excited to support the Grand Equipment team as they grow the company to the next level,” Stein said.

Growing dealer

Grand Equipment is located in a nearly 30,000-square-foot facility on 8.5 acres at 3310 Hudson Trails Dr. in Hudsonville.

The company sells multi-line construction equipment, parts and service and has grown over the years to employ 37 people.

Jeff Grasman indicated the company has a customer base from a variety of industries and served more than 2,500 customers in the last five years.

Stein said Grand Equipment Company operates in a competitive market with a few large, global retail and rental distributors and has managed to diversify and grow its business through customer service, quality products and an understanding of the regional industry.

“With construction nearing a record-breaking pace, demand for reliable and cost-efficient equipment is greater than ever, particularly within Michigan,” Stein said.

Michigan fund

The Michigan Prosperity Fund was launched in 2012 and has an objective to generate equity returns, protect and create jobs in the state and reduce out-of-state investors acquiring Michigan companies.

Six companies are within Blackford Capital’s Michigan Prosperity Fund portfolio: Burgaflex, Fenton; Custom Profile, Grand Rapids; Mopec, Detroit; Grand Transformers, Grand Haven; Dickinson Press, Grand Rapids; and Grand Equipment. 

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