Waséyabek Development Co. now is the majority owner of an Otsego-based electronics manufacturer.
Grand Rapids-based Waséyabek Development Co. (WDC) — a tribally owned holding company that manages the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi’s nongaming economic development activities — said Wednesday, Jan. 5, it acquired a majority stake in Otsego-based Safari Circuits, an electronics manufacturing, engineering services and supply chain management company.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The investment adds to WDC’s ongoing portfolio diversification of nongaming investments, including its October 2021 co-investment with Gun Lake Investments into Zip Xpress/Green Transportation in Holland.
“We are extremely pleased to add Safari Circuits to the WDC portfolio,” said Deidra Mitchell, WDC president and CEO. “Safari is an established leader in the electronics manufacturing field, powered by their highly skilled staff and leadership. It fulfills WDC’s desire to expand its manufacturing, medical and federal contracting verticals.”
Safari was founded in 1985 and serves clients in the medical, instrumentation, industrial, automotive and military sectors. It employs more than 150 people.
“As the founder of Safari, it was important to me to find a majority investor who would maintain our commitment to employees, the community and our customers,” said CEO Larry Cain. “We believe the leadership at Waséyabek Development Co. shares that commitment and will carry on that legacy.”
Chris Rogers, acting board chair of WDC, said the organization is “proud to invest in locally based companies that generate jobs and income in this region.”
“As the majority owner of Safari Circuits, we will work with the leadership to grow the firm, which in turn will strengthen the overall economy in southwest Michigan,” Rogers said.
Jamie Stuck, chair of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Tribal Council, said the council’s goal when it established WDC was to broaden the tribe’s impact on the region where its ancestors first settled.
“We feel this investment will benefit our tribal members, the local economy and all the people who call West Michigan home,” Stuck said.