State Approves $22M New Investment Fund, Business Expansions

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LANSING — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. today announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a $22.5 million investment in a new private equity fund that will provide growth funding for Michigan automotive suppliers well as two business expansion projects that will generate more than $45.9 million in new capital investment and create more than 70 jobs in Michigan.

“Today’s Strategic Fund actions will mean new support for expanding Michigan’s small businesses and greater economic opportunities for people across Michigan,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “Our economic recovery is demonstrating increasing momentum thanks to our improved business climate and continued new job-creating investments. Today’s investments will fuel new economic activity that will show benefits across Michigan.”

The fund approved $22.5 million in loan funding under the MEDC Capital Conduit Program to Grow Michigan Holdings LLLC, to be invested in Michigan Capital Partners, a newly created private equity fund. MCP, a collaboration of public and private funding, will be capitalized by a number of private investors from across the state to provide growth funding for Tier 2 and Tier 3 automotive and transportation suppliers with a presence in Michigan.

Finney says the targeted private investment fund will total $125 million, creating more than $4.50 in private investment for each public dollar invested. It will make investments in companies with $20-200 million in revenue in the transportation value chain: machining, forming, tool and die making, supply chain support, and technology. Companies considered for the fund’s investments will be headquartered or have operations in Michigan with plans to expand their facilities and create new jobs in the state.

The Michigan Business Development Program incentives approved today were:

Canal Street Brewing Co. LLC (dba Founders Brewing Co.) began in Grand Rapids in 1997 as a small tap room and small beer production facility. Today the company has increased its production by almost 50 times and its tap room sales by about 10 times. The company is expanding its property on Grandville Ave. SW in Grand Rapids, investing $40.4 million and creating more than 70 jobs. As a result, the company has been awarded a $250,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

The fund also approved an amended Act 381 Brownfield work plan submitted by the city of Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority for school and local tax capture valued at $4,281,805 for demolition, site preparation, infrastructure improvements, and streetscaping for the project.

Covisint Corp., founded in 2000 as a collaborative effort by several automotive OEMs, is a business-to-business cloud company that provides platforms for enterprises that must securely share, integrate and present trusted information to people and devices across networks of business partners and customers. In brief, Covisint was fully spun off from its parent, Compuware Corp. in October, and is looking to grow in markets outside of the auto industry. Covisint plans to lease space and establish a new headquarters in Southfield, investing up to $5.5 million and creating 50 jobs. As a result, the company has been awarded a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

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