Blackford Capital sells Grand Equipment Company

598
Grand Equipment is a multi-line equipment dealer offering the sale and rental of new and used heavy construction equipment. Courtesy Grand Equipment Company

Blackford Capital has completed another portfolio exit.

The Grand Rapids-based lower middle market private equity firm said on Thursday, June 16, it successfully completed the exit from its investment in Hudsonville-based Grand Equipment Company through a sale to Chicago-based Cognitive Capital Partners.

Founded in 2000, Grand Equipment is a multi-line equipment dealer offering the sale and rental of new and used heavy construction equipment, and it provides parts and service across greater Grand Rapids and West Michigan.

Blackford Capital acquired GEC, led by founder and CEO Jeff Grasman, through its Michigan Prosperity Fund in 2015. During its time as a Blackford Capital portfolio company, Grand Equipment made investments in its management team, improved equipment mix and its rental fleet, strengthened relationships with customers and original equipment manufacturers, and used the resulting growth to improve the balance sheet.

“Grand Equipment is excited to continue our growth trajectory in West Michigan with this transition from Blackford Capital to Cognitive Capital Partners,” Grasman said. “We successfully partnered with the Blackford team to grow the organization and look forward to a future of additional regional growth, deepened market share and an increased footprint.”

Today, with the construction industry projected to grow 8.8% in 2022 to reach $1.35 trillion USD and $1.65 trillion USD by 2026, according to Dublin-based Research and Markets, the opportunities for Grand Equipment to accelerate growth and market expansion are significant.

“Our investment thesis is rooted in a commitment to buy at a fair value, operate effectively, focus on top-line growth and professionalize organizations overall — setting them up for their next stage of growth,” said Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital. “Although we faced several challenges along the way — not the least of which was the market downturn driven by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic — ultimately, our work with Jeff and the Grand Equipment team has delivered a positive return to our investors. Cognitive Capital will be a strong partner for Grand Equipment to deliver steady growth across short, medium and long-term perspectives.”

Founded in 2006, Cognitive invests in companies in technical and business services and manufacturing and industrial products and services.

Facebook Comments