GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Blackford Capital has announced the acquisition of Grand Haven, Mich.-based Grand Transformers Inc. (GTI), a designer and manufacturer of transformers and inductive components serving the adjustable speed drives, HVAC, energy/renewables, and other industries.

Blackford Capital, a national private equity firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich. that acquires, manages, and builds middle-market manufacturing, distribution, and service companies, said the acquisition is the third in the firm’s Michigan Prosperity Fund. The fund, created in 2012, aims to generate best-in-class equity returns for investors within the state of Michigan, and also to support the local economy by protecting and creating jobs locally.

Grand Transformers was founded in 1948 by K.C. Retzlaff. The company was purchased from Retzlaff by his two sons, Greg and Jerry, in 1973 and currently employs 70 people at its 55,000-square-foot facility in Grand Haven.

“Grand Transformers’ advanced engineering and lean manufacturing operations have made the company the market leader in its field,” said Jeff Helminski, managing director of Blackford Capital. “We are honored that Greg and Jerry have entrusted their family legacy to our stewardship, and are excited to work with the existing GTI management team to grow the company and create jobs in Michigan.”

Blackford Capital will be implementing a board of directors and employing operating partners to support the management team and the growth of the business. Ed Smith, currently GTI’s chief operating officer, will be promoted to CEO and will continue to lead the GTI team.

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Publication date: 3/31/2014

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