Private equity firm, family offices invest in Proos Manufacturing


A group of investment firms is injecting capital into Proos Manufacturing to support the company’s “rapid growth” in domestic and international e-commerce fulfillment.

Grand Rapids-based Proos Manufacturing said Monday that Westbourne Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private investment firm, in partnership with Samson Investment Partners, a family office located in New York and Dallas, along with several other family offices, have completed a strategic investment in Proos.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed

Bryan Howard Courtesy Proos Manufacturing

The management team, including Proos CEO Bryan Howard, will continue as usual at Proos.

“We are extremely excited to partner with the Samson Investment Partners and Westbourne Capital Partners teams,” Howard said. “While Proos has been highly successful in establishing itself as a leader in the design and production of nonautomated material handling solutions, we are eager to take the next step in growing the company through greater utilization of our know-how and industry relationships, as well as supporting our customers’ continued expansion in new geographic markets.”

Rob Crisp Courtesy Westbourne Capital Partners

Rob Crisp, managing partner of Westbourne Capital Partners, said his firm is “excited to partner with Bryan Howard and the entire Proos team to grow and expand the business.”

“We are particularly enthused about working with such a dynamic team in a rapidly growing and evolving industry and look forward to supporting Bryan and his team in their evolution to a full solution provider with a particular emphasis on engineering and design,” Crisp said. “This is a continuation of our focus on being active partners in outstanding family-owned businesses (that) are seeking capital and knowledge to support growth.”

Indianapolis-based Ice Miller provided legal advice and services to Westbourne in connection with the transaction, while Varnum in Grand Rapids advised Proos. Southfield-based Plante Moran served as financial adviser to Westbourne, while Birmingham-based Greenwich Capital Group advised Proos.

Proos Manufacturing

Established in 1919, Proos designs and manufactures highly engineered chute, shelf and workstation solutions for the material handling industry.

The company works closely with a wide variety of material handling integrators to deliver large-scale e-commerce fulfillment solutions for end users such as Amazon, UPS and FedEx, as well as other omnichannel players.

Proos employs over 140 people in West Michigan.

Westbourne Capital Partners

Founded in 2015, Westbourne Capital Partners is a private investment firm that partners with family offices to deploy capital into family- and founder-owned businesses, especially in the manufacturing and food sectors.

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