GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackford Capital, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based private equity firm focused on acquiring and growing middle-market manufacturing, distribution and service companies, today hosted former three-term Governor of Michigan and current president of the Business Roundtable, John Engler, at its first annual Michigan Prosperity Fund investor conference. Engler was recently appointed chairman of the Fund's advisory board. Other board members include Mark Murray, co-CEO and vice chairman of Meijer, Inc.; Mary Petrovich, an executive with the Carlyle Group; and David Porteous, partner at McCurdy Wotila & Porteous and lead director at Huntington Bank.
Blackford created the Michigan Prosperity Fund in 2012 to generate best-in-class returns for investors within the state of Michigan while at the same time supporting the Michigan economy by maintaining local ownership of Michigan companies and protecting and creating jobs locally. Since the start of the Fund, Blackford has acquired two companies: Custom Profile, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., in August 2012 and Mopec, based in Metro Detroit, on June 6 of this year.
Engler spoke to investors about the importance of private equity investing in a shaky economy, and the benefits Michigan will see from funds like the Michigan Prosperity Fund.
"Studies have shown that companies that receive private equity funding have a higher job creation rate, and higher revenue growth, than companies that don't receive funding," said Engler. "Blackford's Michigan Prosperity Fund is gaining momentum as a private sector solution to both job creation and preservation. I am encouraged by the positive impact it's making here in Michigan and believe the Fund could be a model for economic growth nationally."Engler is currently the president of the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. corporations where he works to promote policies to enhance U.S. global economic leadership, including a restructuring of the nation's system of taxation. He previously served six years as the president and CEO of the Manufacturers Association of America. During his years in office, Engler worked to improve education, cut taxes, reform welfare, and resize Michigan government. He also serves on the boards of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Universal Forest Products. "We were honored to have Governor Engler speak at today's investor conference," said Martin Stein, founder and managing partner of Blackford. "He has a long history of working to improve Michigan for both its citizens and its businesses. We couldn't be happier that Governor Engler is supporting Blackford Capital and the state, by leading the advisory board of the Michigan Prosperity Fund." About Blackford Capital Blackford Capital is a private equity firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich., that acquires, manages and builds middle-market manufacturing, distribution and service companies, with seven portfolio companies employing more than 950 people and with combined revenues of approximately $225 million. Blackford has offices in Grand Rapids (headquarters) and Santa Monica, CA. Blackford has closed 27 transactions since 2005. The firm's investment criteria includes mature, profitable businesses with revenues between $20 million and $100 million and with management teams that are either interested in remaining with the company to promote its continued growth or are seeking to retire. For more information, visit www.blackfordcapital.com. SOURCE Blackford Capital