Blackford Capital acquires Mopec


Oak Park-based Mopec makes medical equipment for the pathology and mortuary industries. Photo via

The Grand Rapids based private equity firm Blackford Capital has acquired Mopec, a manufacturer of pathology and mortuary equipment based in metro Detroit.

Blackford Capital — which acquires, manages and builds middle market manufacturing, distribution and service companies — said the acquisition is its second in the firm's Michigan Prosperity Fund.

The fund, created in 2012, aims to generate "best in class" equity returns for investors in the state of Michigan and support the local economy by protecting and creating jobs locally.

The acquisition

Mopec was founded in 1992 and employs 68 people at its 60,000-square-foot facility in Oak Park. The company's customers include the Mayo Clinic, Duke University Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic.

Mopec manufactures supplies and instruments for the pathology, histology, necropsy, autopsy, morgue and mortuary industries.

"Mopec is the market leader in its field as a result of its advanced engineering and metal-working capabilities, its focus on finding solutions to customer needs and its passionate team of employees," said Jeff Helminski, managing director of Blackford Capital.

Terry O'Rourke, former president of medical-device manufacturer Aspen Surgical, will become the new CEO of Mopec. 

While at Aspen Surgical, O'Rourke helped grow the business from $25 million to $120 million in revenue over a six-year period, creating 500 new jobs.

Comerica Bank and Northcreek Mezzanine provided financing for the transaction.

Mopec's board of directors will consist of seven members: Helminski; O'Rourke; Tom Carroll, owner of Label Tape; Joel Carter, Blackford Capital operating partner and former owner of Orlando Recycling; Darren Frankel, principal at Stuart Frankel Development Co.; Kathy Nagy, former CEO of Strategy Network and Thomas Lozser, director of publicly traded Looser Holding AG and who currently sits on the board of Custom Profile Inc., one of Blackford's portfolio companies.

Blackford's portfolio

The Blackford Capital portfolio includes seven companies employing more than 950 people, with combined revenues of approximately $225 million.

Blackford Capital, which has an office in Santa Monica, Calif., has closed 26 transactions in the past six years.

The firm's investment criteria include mature, profitable businesses with revenues between $20 million and $100 million — with management teams that are either willing to remain with the company or are seeking to retire.

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