Blackford Capital Named M&A Dealmaker of the Year by ACG Detroit

Grand Rapids, MI, March 20, 2023 – Blackford Capital, a leading lower middle market private equity firm, today announced the company has been named “M&A Dealmaker of the Year” by the 8th Annual M&A All Star Awards presented by the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Detroit chapter.

“We are thrilled and honored to be named M&A Dealmaker of the Year. This recognition is a testament to our growing reputation for excellence in the lower middle market private equity industry,” said Martin Stein, Blackford Capital’s founder and managing director. “Our unique approach to deal sourcing and financing combined with rigorous post-acquisition operational involvement and a highly effective approach to governance has resulted in some of the best and most consistent returns in the lower middle market.”

2022 was one of Blackford’s most successful years since the firm’s founding in 2010. In the past year, Blackford has displayed a high level of deal activity, portfolio company performance, and fundraising trajectory. The firm has built a group of diversified portfolio companies that generate more than $550 million in annual revenues across 10 U.S. states, Germany and China, employing more than 2,000 employees.

Blackford’s current family of seven portfolio companies includes:

  • Mopec, a full-service, full-line manufacturer of pathology and mortuary equipment;
  • Aqua-Leisure Industries, a leader and pioneer in water sport leisure product development and aquatic goods;
  • Design Environments, a full-service interior design, sourcing and installation firm;
  • Starfire Direct, leading direct-to-consumer companies in the firepit and patio sector;
  • Artificial Turf Supply, a manufacturer, distributor and internet-based supplier of high-quality synthetic and artificial turf systems;
  • Burgaflex, a leading provider of tube and hose assemblies for the OEM heavy-duty truck market, and
  • Davalor Mold, an injection molding and tooling business focused on occupant safety components for the automotive industry.

“I appreciate everyone on the Blackford team for their hard work to make this achievement happen and am thankful for the long-standing trust of our investors,” said Stein. “We are committed to helping our portfolio companies grow by continuing to leverage our expertise and experience and to creating more value for our investors.”

The ACG Detroit chapter has approximately 400 members dedicated to driving middle-market growth. Filled with company leaders, private equity professionals, investment bankers, attorneys, advisory consultants and more, ACG Detroit strives to provide the best resources and networking opportunities to build connections and relationships to drive the growing community.

Blackford Capital will be recognized alongside other M&A All Star Awards winners at the ACG Detroit award ceremony on Tuesday, May 2. The award presentation will take place at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Mich., from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

For more information, and for a detailed list of all the Award winners for the 8th Annual M&A All Star Awards, please Click Here.

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