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Blackford Capital, Midwest Private Equity, Michigan Private Equity, Michigan Prosperity Fund, Deal of the Year, Middle Market, Lower Middle Market
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Blackford Capital In the Media

Blackford Capital Webinar – Beast Mode: How to Achieve Hyper Company Growth

October 9, 2018   |   Corp! Magazine

Struggling to achieve growth at your company? Check out this Blackford Capital webinar that features first-hand company growth experiences and key strategies to drive accelerated growth. Hear directly from our portfolio company CEOs and how they have overcome growth challenges at their companies!


November 7, 2018   |

Ellison Bakery Announces New CEO

Ellison Bakery (or “Ellison”), a portfolio company of Blackford Capital and a leading manufacturer of cookie and snack products for the industrial market, food service, and retail private label space, is proud to have welcomed Stephanie Chattillion as the new Chief Executive Officer.

October 2, 2018   |   PRWeb

Dickinson Wright PLLC Client is a Finalist for the 17th Annual M&A Advisor Awards


Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that its client, Blackford Capital, is a finalist for the 17th Annual M&A Advisor Awards.

The finalists have been selected from the nominees in the first stage of evaluation and an independent panel of judges will select the ultimate award winners that will be announced at the Awards Gala on Tuesday, November 6th at the New York Athletic Club. For more information, please visit

September 21, 2018   |   Grand Rapids Business Journal

Private equity firm acquires majority stake in A/V company

A local private equity firm has acquired a majority stake in an out-of-state maker of audiovisual hardware and software.

Grand Rapids-based Blackford Capital said this week it acquired the stake in Tustin, California-based Hall Research. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hall is Blackford’s sixth investment within its National Growth Practice and 13th portfolio company.

September 19, 2018   |   DBusiness

Grand Rapids’ Blackford Capital Invests in California Audiovisual Company

Blackford Capital, a national private equity firm based in Grand Rapids, Tuesday announced it has invested in Tustin, Calif.’s Hall Research, a designer, engineer, and manufacturer of audiovisual hardware and software systems that better communicate between audiovisual sources and displays.

Blackford completed the transaction with financing from Gun Lake Investments and Comerica Bank in Detroit.

February 20, 2018   |   Printing Impressions

Dickinson Press, Kingsport Book Launch New Short-Run Four-Color Commercial Printing Facility

Kingsport Book LLC is excited to announce the launch of its newly built Kingsport Book Commercial. Kingsport Book Commercial was built with the goal of being able to offer the most competitive, short-run four-color book and commercial printing solution available in the industry. Phase 1 of this multi-million expansion continues to build on the goals established by PCC (Printer Consolidation Co.), a Blackford Capital portfolio company to build a world-class company focused on the ever-changing needs of the book printing industry.

February 13, 2018   |   Mergers & Acquisitions 

Blackford completes backing of print cartridge supplier OTS

Blackford Capital has invested in Online Tech Stores, an aftermarket distributor of print and imaging supplies. OTS chief executive officer Bob Willmes says, “While we’ve seen significant growth in the past several years, we believe this partnership will enable OTS to add products and capabilities to continue to best meet the needs of our growing customer base.” 

December 24, 2017   |   MiBiz

2018 Outlook: Martin Stein, Blackford Capital

Blackford Capital closed on three acquisitions in 2017 through its two private equity finds and sold two companies in what founder and Managing Director Martin Stein said were “phenomenal exits.” Blackford Capital owns 11 companies, nine through the Michigan Prosperity Fund and two through its National Growth Practice. Stein expects the U.S. economy in 2018 to remain in “pretty good” shape, driving growth in Blackford’s portfolio companies. He doesn’t see any downturn ahead for at least another two years.

November 06, 2017   |   MiBiz

Grand Rapids PE-backed firm acquires Tennessee book printing company

A portfolio company of private equity firm Blackford Capital bought its second firm in the book printing industry. The Blackford-owned platform company, Printing Consolidation Co., which also owns Grand Rapids-based Dickinson Press LLC, acquired Kingsport Book of Church Hill, Tenn. The 13-year-old Kingsport is a book finishing and fulfillment company that operates from a 120,000-square-foot facility, where it specializes in customized print runs in a range of sizes. The company is also located close to major shipping hubs for FedEx and UPS.

June 11, 2017   |   MiBiz

More Michigan companies open to PE, as deal flow, investment rises-150M for second Mich. Prosperity Fund

Private equity investments in Michigan grew in 2016 with an increase in both deals and the amount of capital invested. Funds last year put $13.33 billion into 96 Michigan companies, according to a report from the Washington, D.C.-based American Investment Council that uses data from Michigan ranked 15th in the nation in 2016 for the amount invested in in-state companies from private equity funds and 13th in the number of investments. The 2016 Michigan deal flow and investment compares with $12.29 billion in private equity invested in 85 companies in 2015, and $16.2 billion in 86 companies in 2014.

Social Media


November 9, 2018

New Member Spotlight: Carmen Evola

Carmen Evola joined the Blackford Capital Team only a few months ago and is already making an impact as the company’s newest Managing Director. Mr. Evola is the Fund Manager for the Michigan Prosperity Fund and also directly oversees the Portfolio Company Operations Team. Using his prior fifteen years of experience, Mr. Evola has already proven to be a valuable asset to Blackford Capital.

We put our new MD, Carmen Evola, in the hot seat to learn more about him and his first few months at Blackford Capital.

August 9, 2018

We Know What Makes A Great Internship. Our Industrious Interns Agree

Challenging internships can be invaluable, especially in highly competitive industries. For interns to gain the most value and hands-on experience possible, internship programs need to include a few specific features to improve interns’ business acumen and future job hunts.

Before diving into these key aspects of effective internships, let’s talk about why people entering today’s workforce (or pivoting to new careers) should consider internships over entry-level positions.

Published Articles

Martin Stein   |   October 31, 2018   |

Understanding the Goals and Processes of Private Equity

One of the best ways to be an informed investor in private equities is to understand how PE firms pursue their opportunities and encourage value in the companies they invest in.

It’s important to grasp the main divisions of all investment opportunities. They break into two main camps: public equities and bonds/debt offerings on the one hand, and “alternative investments” on the other. These alternative investments include real estate, hedge funds, venture capital and PE.

Martin Stein   |   October 26, 2018   |   YouTern

3 Steps to Becoming a Dream Intern (And Earning a Job Offer)

To most young adults navigating their college years, the word “internship” can be a source of both cautious excitement and unrestrained dread. A necessary evil, perhaps. The certainly don’t think about how to become a dream intern.

Martin Stein   |   October 26, 2018   |

​The Common Trait Shared by the Best Private Equity Firms

In the private equity world, buzz terms like “strip and flip” or “burn and churn” are used to describe horror stories of cutthroat investment strategies in which private equity firms give little thought to their obligations to multiple stakeholder groups in order to drive quick (and presumably thoughtless) returns.

Martin Stein   |   July 3, 2018   |   CEOWORLD MAGAZINE

The Benefits of Good Governance: Risk Mitigation and Sustainable Value Creation

As leaders of organizations, founders and CEOs get a large share of the credit and the blame for business developments, both good and bad. But the decisions to influence and inspire a company’s vision, values, culture, and direction should not be made in a vacuum. While CEOs certainly play a part in setting the stage for a company’s long-term success, a meaningful factor is at play that boils down to one word: governance.

Martin Stein   |   May 16, 2018   |   Innovation Enterprise

Beast Mode: 3 Rules For Achieving Hyper Company Growth

There’s one important step a company must take to grow faster in today’s marketplace: overcoming the common hurdles of corporate stagnancy. Leaders in some organizations don’t make the time to pursue growth. Other management teams want to grow but can’t because optimizing the current business model and facilitating growth require different skill sets.

Martin Stein   |   March 22, 2018   |


Deal sourcing can be arduous, and many private equity firms can spend a lot of time on the wrong deal that, for one reason or another, is never executed. But the most effective private equity firms efficiently reject the wrong deals so they can spend more of their valuable time on good deals. It’s critical to find the “deal killers” — such as undisclosed liabilities, declining revenue, toxic business cultures, etc. — early on so that you can resolve them before spending valuable resources and save immeasurable frustration for both the buyer and seller. Ultimately, the typical problem associated with deal sourcing is a case of missing the forest for the trees. The PE firm might like the management team, the business model, or the industry, but it often fails to see the factors that may prevent the deal from closing.

Jeff Johnson   |   January 29, 2018   |   Entrepreneur


With the passage of President Donald Trump’s tax plan, family-business entrepreneurs seem to be getting a big bump in social investment and corporate growth. Given that 80 to 90 percent of U.S. businesses are family-owned and that such companies contribute 64 percent of the GDP, according to Kennesaw State University research, the administration has taken a hardline stance in highlighting those businesses’ economic and cultural value.


Blackford Capital has received recognition from a number of nationally recognized organizations

for its growth and M&A expertise. Below is a snapshot of Blackford’s most recent awards.


Blackford Capital was selected as the 2018 Private Equity Firm of the year – M&A Advisor


Blackford Capital’s portfolio company, Custom Profile was named as a 2018 Best and Brightest in Wellness Company.


Blackford portfolio companies, Ellison Bakery, Custom Profile, Quality Aluminum Products, and Grand Power Systems were recognized on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies.


Blackford Capital was selected for the international Private Equity Deal of the Year for its investment in Ellison Bakery. ($10MM -$100MM) – M&A Advisor

Corp! Awards 2

Blackford Capital was recognized as Small Business of the Year and Overall Winner for the 2018 Michigan Economic Bright Spots Awards.


Custom Profile, a Blackford Capital portfolio company was honored as one of Michigan’s Economic Bright Spots in the Medium Business category.


Blackford was recognized as one of America’s fastest-growing private companies, ranking No. 2,758. – 2017

awards photos

Blackford Capital was selected for Consumer Stables Deal of the Year. (Under $100MM) – The M&A Advisor


James Cook was recognized as one of the top 40 under 40 professionals in the M&A industry for his successful accomplishments during the previous year. – The M&A Advisor

executive of the year

Martin Stein was recognized as one of the top 40 under 40 Professionals of the Year for his successful accomplishments during the previous year. – MiBiz

awards photos

Joseph Presutti was recognized as one of the top 40 under 40 professionals in the M&A industry for his deal making accomplishments at Blackford Capital. – The M&A Advisor


Blackford was recognized as one of America’s fastest-growing private companies, ranking No. 1,610. – 2016.



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