In first deal, PE firm Concurrence Capital invests in Holland automation firm

This article was originally published by MiBiz October 1, 2017.

GRAND RAPIDS — A West Michigan-based private equity firm closed on its first deal with an investment in Holland-based Mission Design & Automation LLC.

The deal with the 13-year-old producer of automation systems for the automotive, office furniture, medical and consumer goods industries came about five months after Concurrence Capital Holdings LLC formed.

“We couldn’t have picked a better first opportunity. Everything kind of matched up really well,” Jason Byrd, a co-founder and managing partner at Concurrence Capital, told MiBiz in an exclusive interview. “This is going to be a really nice deal because of who we’re partnering with.”

Concurrence Capital targets long-term investments in middle-market, family-owned businesses involved in manufacturing and business-to-business services with sales of more than $5 million, plus $1 million to $8 million in EBITDA.

In Mission Design & Automation, the private equity firm invested in a business that’s been averaging annualized growth of 50 percent over the last few years. The company was actively seeking growth capital and willing to take on an investor, and its management team wanted to remain intact to run the business and grow.

M&A firm NuVescor Group LLC of Grand Rapids represented Mission Design & Automation and introduced the investment opportunity to Concurrence Capital, Byrd said. Terms of the deal, which closed this past spring and was just now announced, were undisclosed.

Byrd and co-founder Michael Brom sifted through about four dozen prospective deals since April and were “very serious” about three, Byrd said. He describes the first deal as a “true partnership consistent with our investment parameters.”

Started in a pole barn by Loren Brouwer in 2004, Mission Design & Automation employs more than 25 people. The company operates out of a 21,000-square-foot facility southeast of Holland.

Brouwer said in a statement that he’s known Brom for more than 20 years. Mission Design & Automation began working on a deal with Concurrence Capital soon after the firm launched in April.

“When I learned that he and a partner had started Concurrence Capital Holdings, I thought they would be an ideal partner to support Mission in our next stage of growth,” Brouwer said.

Brouwer and co-owner Jon Maust will remain with the company, which is “well-positioned for even greater growth as the automation industry continues to flourish,” Brom said.

Of the deals Concurrence Capital has looked at since forming, two-thirds came forward through Byrd and Brom’s professional networks.

Byrd described the present deal flow as “solid.”

Deals typically take six months to complete from introduction, and Byrd said the firm could close another by the time it hits is first anniversary next spring.

“But we are focused on finding the right deals,” he said. “We feel very good about where we find ourselves.”

Prior to forming Concurrence Capital, Byrd worked at Grand Rapids-based M&A and investment banking firm Charter Capital Partners. Brom was CFO at Huizenga Group, a family office for the family of J.C. Huizenga.