Blackford Capital Named Private Equity Firm of the Year by The M&A Advisor for Second Consecutive Year

Unprecedented back-to-back Firm of the Year recognition demonstrates Blackford Capital’s continued growth momentum

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., November 21, 2022 – Blackford Capital, a leading lower middle market private equity firm, was named Private Equity Firm of the Year at the 21th Annual M&A Advisor Awards on Tuesday, November 15. This is the third time Blackford has received this distinguished honor; the first in back-to-back years.

“We are extremely honored to be named The M&A Advisor Private Equity Firm of the Year once again. This repeat recognition is wonderful validation of our focus on growth, and creating value with our portfolio companies and for our investors,” said Martin Stein, Blackford Capital’s founder and managing director.

“Our team of Blackford professionals lives our values every day; and our values tell a story of long-term relationships, trust, transparency, dependability and determination. This third M&A Advisor PE Firm of the Year award affirms that this ‘secret sauce’ works. We are on an incredibly rewarding path and we are confident this momentum will continue to drive success forward.”

In addition to its nomination for PE Firm of the Year, Blackford’s add-on acquisition of INYO Pool Supply to Boston, Massachusetts-based Aqua Leisure was named a finalist in three separate Deal of the Year categories including M&A Deal of the year, Private Equity Deal of the Year in 10MM – $25MM category, and Consumer Discretionary Deal of the Year in $10MM – $100MM category.

“Our team has completed 34 transactions within the manufacturing, industrial and retail distribution industries, and, under our investment and management oversight, Blackford’s portfolio companies are growing to become industry leaders, thriving in each of their industries across 10 U.S. states, Germany and China,” Stein said. “I would like to thank everyone on the Blacford team for their hard work to make this achievement happen.”

This year’s award marks the third time that Blackford has been recognized as Private Equity Firm of the Year by The M&A Advisor, having previously won in 2018 and 2021.

Additionally, Blackford has received Deal of the Year honors on five other occasions, including in 2021, 2017, and 2015 and Martin Stein was named Private Equity Professional of the Year in 2016. Additionally, Blackford has been recognized as Small Business of the Year and a Michigan Economic Bright spot by Corp! Magazine in 2018 and was named to the Inc. 5000 in 2016 and 2017.

For more information, and for a detailed list of all the Award Finalists for the 21st Annual M&A Advisor awards, please visit

About Blackford Capital

Founded in 2010, Blackford Capital is a private equity investment firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Blackford acquires, manages, and builds founder and family-owned, lower middle-market companies, with a focus on the manufacturing, industrial and distribution industries. With a track record of exceptional returns, a disciplined and relentless approach to value creation, and a focus on operational excellence and a compelling culture, Blackford was named the Private Equity Firm of the Year by M&A Advisor in 2022, 2021 and 2018. Several of its portfolio companies have been included on the Inc. 5000. For more information, visit