Ideal Contracting in Southwest Detroit Becomes Standalone Minority Business Enterprise, Acquires Barton Malow’s Interest


After 20 years of partnership, Frank Venegas, Jr., CEO of The Ideal Group in southwest Detroit, and Ryan Maibach, president and CEO of Barton Malow in Southfield, announced that Venegas is buying out Barton Malow’s interest in Detroit-based Ideal Contracting, fulfilling the vision of its founding members. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In December of 1997, the partnership of Ideal Contracting, one of seven companies that make up The Ideal Group, and Barton Malow Co., formed as a 51 percent/49 percent Minority Business Enterprise selfâ€performing construction company with a vision that one day it would evolve into a standalone 100 percent minority enterprise.

In 1998, its first year of business, Ideal Contracting had revenue of $5.8 million with a staff of five people. Over the years, Ideal Contracting and Barton Malow worked together to build the company’s leadership and talent base as well as cultivating an awardâ€winning safety program and a customer service culture.

Last year, DBusiness magazine listed Ideal Contracting as the sixth largest general contractor in Michigan with revenue of over $270 million and more than 500 construction professionals and tradespeople. In addition, Ideal Contracting has expanded its customer base from mainly automotive to include universities, utility companies, refineries, and more.

Ideal Contracting’s projects include working as a subcontractor to the Barton Malow/Hunt/White joint venture on Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit and as subcontractor to Barton Malow self-performing the steel erection for the GM Flint Body Shop project. Ideal Contracting also worked on the construction of the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University just north of Little Caesars Arena that will open this spring.

In addition to large programs, Ideal Contracting features a division that services inâ€plant contracts under $1 million.

In addition, Ideal Contracting has collaborated with other firms and construction subcontractors to refurbish 16 classrooms at Holy Redeemer Grade School, located at Junction and Vernor in southwest Detroit. It previously provided the school with new plumbing and lavatories, a STEM classroom, and a computer lab.

Ideal Contracting has been recognized as Class IV Supplier of the Year in Construction from the Michigan Minority Supplier Business Council (MMSDC), as well as receiving the General Motors Silver Impact Award and the FCA Diversity Award.

“We credit our success as a general contractor (Ideal Contracting) to our skillful combination of specialty services and self-perform trades,” says Frank Venegas, CEO of The Ideal Group. “Our industry knowledge allows us to retain a respected base of quality subcontracting partners in addition to enhanced selfâ€perform capabilities.

“We listen to our customers’ project goals and implement strategies to achieve them in order to offer competitive pricing and the highest level of quality, safety, and customer service. Our selfâ€perform specialty trades give us a competitive advantage and keeps us a step ahead.”

Ideal Contracting and Barton Malow will continue together on construction projects, and both companies plan on preserving a strong working relationship following the buyout.

“Through the years, the Venegas and Maibach families built a strong relationship based on mutual respect and commitment to our customers,” says Ryan Maibach, president and CEO of Barton Malow. “We … have great respect for Ideal Contracting and we wish them continued success as a 100 percent Minority Business Enterprise.”

The Ideal Group is headquartered in southwest Detroit with additional locations in Howell and Lansing. The Ideal Group consists of seven companies with more than 600 employees and combined sales surpassing $300 million.

Included in The Ideal Group are: Ideal Contracting (construction services); Ideal Shield (facility guarding manufacturer); Ideal Setech (MRO inventory management); Ideal Setech Shareâ€theâ€Spare (indirect material management); Ideal Surplus (excess and obsolete MRO products); Ideal Utility Services (critical asset protection); and Ideal Steel (steel fabrication services).

Ideal Contracting, one of the largest contractors in the Midwest, serves a variety of specialty markets, including automotive/manufacturing, commercial, energy, financial, healthcare, heavy industrial, petrochemical, and sports and entertainment.

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