COVID-19 Update: Huron Capital’s High Street Insurance Acquires Hillsdale Firm, Clarkston’s Oscar W. Larson Co. Acquired by Dallas Investor, and More

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
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map of Michigan coronavirus cases by county
Courtesy of Bridge, as of Feb. 2

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Huron Capital’s High Street Insurance Partners Acquires Hillsdale Firm
Huron Capital, the Detroit-based lower-middle-market private equity firm, announced that its full-service insurance brokerage platform, High Street Insurance Partners in Traverse City, has acquired Vested Risk Strategies Inc. in Hillsdale.

Vested Risk is a full-service insurance agency founded in 1928. It specializes in alternative risk financing arrangements including captive insurance programs and works to help its clients turn their insurance and risk management programs into a competitive advantage and profit center.

“We are incredibly proud of what we have built over our 90 years of service,” says Chris Sumnar, president of Vested. “Our partnership with HSIP gives us the opportunity to expand our offerings, while increasing the depth of our team and becoming a part of one of the fastest growing brokers in the U.S.”

Scott Wick, CEO of HSIP, says, “We are thrilled to have Chris and his team help us deepen our footprint and expertise across Michigan and the Midwest. This partnership adds a young and dynamic team dedicated to promoting innovative ways to mitigate risk.”

HSIP, an ExecFactor platform formed in August 2018 to build a full-service insurance brokerage business, has now completed 18 acquisitions since its formation and continues to pursue add-on acquisitions in the insurance agency market.

“This acquisition demonstrates HSIP’s ability to continue to manage growth while serving its existing customers,” says Brian Rassel, principal of Huron Capital. “We are confident that HSIP’s success will carry through 2021 and beyond.”

Clarkston Equipment Distributor Oscar W. Larson Acquired by Dallas Company
Oscar W. Larson Co., a Clarkston-based equipment distributor and provider of installation, testing, inspection, maintenance, and repair services to fuel infrastructure and other customers across the Midwest, has been acquired by Trive Capital, a private equity firm in Dallas. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“For the past 70 years, Oscar Larson’s success has been a result of our relentless efforts to serve the customer,” says Bruce Larson, chairman of Oscar W. Larson Co. “With Trive’s financial backing and operational resources, we will be able to expand into new geographies and broaden our offerings to better meet the needs of our customers and increase the market share of our suppliers.”

The Larson company was founded in 1946.

“The Oscar Larson management team has built a great business with a reputation for fanatical customer service that we’re excited to support then through the company’s next stage of growth,” says Blake Bonner, partner at Trive Capital.

SideKick Operators, a strategic advisory firm for mission-critical businesses, is a co-investor alongside Trive Capital and the Oscar Larson management team.

Horizon Global Finalizes $225M 6-year Loan to Provide Stability
Horizon Global Corp., a Plymouth Township-based manufacturer of branded towing and trailering equipment, today announced the closing of a new, six-year financing agreement with Atlantic Park Strategic Capital Fund.

The agreement addresses all of the company’s near-term maturities, provides long-term stability to its capital structure, and offers the financial flexibility necessary to pursue its strategic initiatives, according to Horizon.

Proceeds received by the company will be used to:

  • Repay in full all outstanding debt under the company’s existing term loan, which would have otherwise matured on April 1, 2022. As a result of the repayment of all amounts outstanding under the existing term loan, it will be terminated and will no longer be in effect.
  • Create a $125 million, delayed-draw term loan with enough capacity to repay all of the company’s outstanding convertible senior notes at maturity on July 1, 2022. The delayed draw term loan has a nominal ticking fee and the company is not required to draw any amounts prior to June 30, 2022. When the delayed draw term loan is used to fully repay the converts, the company will not have any substantial maturities prior to February 2027, other than its asset-based revolving credit facility.

“This financing is a testament to the tremendous effort of all Horizon Global employees,” says Terry Gohl, president and CEO of Horizon Global. “We’ve gained substantial momentum since late 2019, and we continue to work as one global team to optimize the business on a daily basis. In addition to our significant operating improvements over the past 16 months, we have now fully addressed our capital structure issues.

“In executing against our strategic plan, we’ve challenged ourselves to be opportunistic at every level. This financing is consistent with this mindset. With a six-year tenor, materially lower interest rate and a flexible covenant structure, this financing optimizes our capital structure and provides the financial flexibility we need to support the long-term growth of this business.”

Small Business Development Center Expands Services to Aid COVID-19 Recovery
The Michigan Small Business Development Center, a statewide small business support organization, has expanded its no-cost services to reflect the needs of small businesses continuing to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small businesses in all 83 counties in Michigan will benefit from new support services including accounting, e-commerce website development, human resource support, and more.

“The pandemic hit small businesses exceptionally hard, and demand for SBDC services skyrocketed,” says J.D. Collins, state director of the Michigan SBDC. “We’ve doubled our staff and extended services into key areas that will expedite small business recovery. These services provide immediate value for businesses responding to the pandemic; an online menu for a restaurant, mental health support for struggling staff or childcare focused consulting are just a few of the services that are part of our comeback kit.”

In close partnership with the state of Michigan, the Michigan SBDC says it is working toward enhancing Michigan’s economic well-being by providing consulting, training, and market research for new ventures, existing small businesses, and advanced technology companies.

The SBDC has contracted Michigan-based small businesses to deliver its expanded services including website development agencies, branding agencies, social media agencies, accountants, EAP programs, and more. These no-cost services are available through September 2021 and are complemented by the SBDC’s well-established team of business consultants who provide free, one-on-one consulting to small businesses in all 83 counties.

Along with EAP services, eligible small businesses may take advantage of the following services offered through the CARES Act funding:

  • Accounting
  • Branding
  • Graphic design
  • Website development
  • E-commerce support
  • Human resource support

All entrepreneurs and small businesses can access free consulting through the SBDC at any time. To qualify for the SBDC’s expanded small business recovery program, a business must:

  • Be a client of the Michigan SBDC.
  • Have gross revenue less than $1 million.
  • Have a demonstrated need for such services as a way to pivot or survive the crisis.

Individuals can register for SBDC services and learn more about our small business recovery program here.

Meadow Brook Hall Set to Reopen Feb. 6 for Weekend Self-guided Tours
Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester has announced that it will reopen its house and grounds on weekends for self-guided public tours beginning Feb. 6.

“Meadow Brook Hall is excited to reopen our doors to the community,” says Shannon O’Berski, director of external relations for Meadow Brook Hall. “We look forward to welcoming guests to the great estate to experience the history and charm of our 110-room, 88,000-square-foot National Historic Landmark.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the historic mansion and estate at their own pace with self-guided tours, aided by a new touring app.

Located on the campus of Oakland University, Meadow Brook Hall will be open on Saturdays and Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with last admittance at 3 p.m.

The estate will offer self-guided tours throughout all three levels of the house with special insight from the new app.

Admission is $10 per adult, $7 for seniors aged 62 and over, and $5 for children aged 6-12. Children 5 and under are free. In order to protect the community, guests must wear a face covering in enclosed spaces and maintain physical distancing by staying 6 feet apart from others.

Tickets are available here.

The Heat and Warmth Fund Launches Millennial-led Council
The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) in Detroit has launched its inaugural Power Forward Emerging Leaders Council to bring younger voices forward as it works to stabilize and empower Michigan families.

In 2020, THAW sought nominations of millennial leaders of diverse backgrounds to lead this effort. The council embraces and encourages differences in age, race, ability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity and expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and other characteristics.

The purpose of the Power Forward Council is four-fold:

  • Create a pipeline of talent for THAW and the nonprofit community of Michigan.
  • Establish a diverse and inclusive council that represents the community THAW serves.
  • Build and expand awareness of the mission and organization throughout the region.
  • Improve opportunities for volunteerism.

“I see this council as a place where young folks can come, learn, and grow as professionals,” says Saunteel Jenkins, CEO of THAW. “This is where they can give their best ideas as well as challenge those in the room who’ve been doing this for a while. I hope that our Power Forward Council becomes a power force for The Heat and Warmth Fund and that they will help us make sure that our best days are ahead of us.”

The council consists of:

Dayna Asante-Appiah, online MSW program manager, University of Michigan.

Che’ Baker, family reunification worker, Orchards Children’s Service.

Charles Bazner, customer advocacy senior analyst, DTE Energy.

Claudia Bazzi, radiologic technologist, Ascension Providence Hospital Imaging Center.

Mariah S. Manuel-Berry, capital markets training team leader, Quicken Loans.

Katherine Brown, engagement manager, Detroit Regional Chamber.

Yvonne G. Navarrete-Castañeda, counties project coordinator, Policy and Research Team, We The People Michigan.

Courtney E. Smith, founder and CEO, Detroit Phoenix Center.

Amanda Spinner, MBA/MS student, University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Kyle Stuef, brand and communication specialist, Identity PR.

Colin M. Talia, financial advisor, UBS Financial Services.

Terrence White, vice president and relationship manager, PNC Bank.

America Yahya, sociology and anthropology student, Wayne State University.

Eva Zenilman, student at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

For more information, visit here.

‘Snow the Love’ Scavenger Hunt Helps Grant Wishes to Sick Children
The Rainbow Connection in Rochester is conducting a “Snow the Love” family scavenger hunt at The Village of Rochester Hills on Feb. 13 from 1-4 p.m. to help it grant wishes to Michigan children with life-threatening illnesses.

Participants and families, who can join in for a $5 donation, will sleuth their way through The Village looking for items. The first 100 families to complete the hunt will receive a children’s book, a small cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes, and more.

There is no pre-registration for this event. Participation is on a first-come, first-served basis. Scavenger hunt lists can be picked up anytime between 1-4 p.m. on Feb. 13 at The Village of Rochester Hills’ Gazebo located in Festival Park.

For more information, visit here.

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