Blackford Capital acquires interior design firm

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Nancy Borum. Courtesy ID Collaborative

Blackford Capital is expanding its interior design portfolio with the acquisition of a company based in North Carolina.

Grand Rapids-based private equity firm Blackford Capital said Tuesday, Nov. 2, it acquired Greensboro, North Carolina-based ID Collaborative (IDC), an interior design firm recognized for its work in the continuing care retirement community space.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The transaction is Blackford’s third in the commercial interior design industry this year, following the merger of Bloomingdale, Illinois-based Vertically Integrated Projects and Hudson, Massachusetts-based Boston Trade Interior Solutions to form a new entity under the Boston Trade name that is based in Bloomingdale, followed by Blackford and Boston Trade’s acquisition of Marietta, Georgia-based Design Environments.

“We are aggressively executing against our strategic plan to address the highly fragmented interior design and procurement industries to better serve our customers and the industry as a whole,” said Greg Kadens, CEO of Boston Trade. “We’re creating a turnkey resource that pairs deep design and interior architecture expertise with international procurement and sourcing experience, and IDC’s portfolio and specialization in senior living and health care advances this vision immediately.”

IDC will join Boston Trade Interior Solutions and Design Environments in Blackford’s professional interior design; procurement; and furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) supply group. As companies in the hotel, single, and multi-family and student living markets, these companies grew exponentially in 2021. Boston Trade experienced three- to fourfold revenue growth and five- to sixfold profitability growth in 2021.

“We are aggressively executing against our strategic plan to address the highly fragmented interior design and procurement industries to better serve our customers and the industry as a whole,” said Greg Kadens, CEO of Boston Trade. “We’re creating a turnkey resource that pairs deep design and interior architecture expertise with international procurement and sourcing experience, and IDC’s portfolio and specialization in senior living and health care advances this vision immediately.”

IDC brings 35 years of experience in commercial interior design and furniture procurement across five industries, with a focus on senior living, medical office and continuing care markets. IDC has completed major projects including The Glenaire campus expansion in Cary, North Carolina; Twin Lakes Boland Center in Burlington, North Carolina; and River Landing in Colfax, North Carolina.

IDC founder and CEO Nancy Borum will continue to serve as president of IDC once the transaction is completed.

“Joining Blackford’s interior design, procurement and FF&E group provides IDC with a great opportunity,” Borum said. “We’re adding significant depth to our global sourcing capabilities and will gain a deeper talent pool. With our collaboration and connection to the Blackford group and the additional companies in the Blackford group, we feel we will better serve our existing customers and … grow and expand into new markets.”

Blackford Capital entered the commercial hospitality sector in 2017 with its acquisition of Snowhite Furnishings and Textiles.

Martin Stein. Courtesy Blackford Capital

“This deal expands our footprint, adds considerable talent and broadens our category depth and experience,” said Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital. “At the core of this transaction is the desire to bring competencies and expertise together to deliver a better solution for our customers. The addition of IDC helps us further connect the dots between industries to fill an obvious void we feel exists in the market today. We intend to pursue further acquisitions in this space, as our customers look to Boston Trade to be the leader in the industry.”

Dickinson Wright, Honigman and King & Spaulding served as legal advisers to the buyer on the transaction. Mercantile Bank of Michigan served as the senior lender, and Plante Moran provided deal structure and accounting services.

Anderson LeNeave & Co. served as investment banker, and Carruthers & Roth served as legal advisers to the seller.

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