Blackford Capital's Michigan Prosperity Fund is taking a stake in the auto industry, investing in Chesterfield Township, Mich.-based injection molder Davalor Mold Corp.
Talmer Bank, of Troy, Mich., provided the financing for the transaction, which is the eighth purchase by the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based fund, which invests in Michigan companies.
Davalor has more than 200 employees and two manufacturing sites — a 100,000-square-foot corporate office and production plant and a 53,000-square-foot tooling and engineering facility. The company was founded in 1979 by brothers Dave, Orman and Al Bernhardt.
Davalor deals with the safety side of the auto market, making seat belt retractor components, buckle covers, webbing guides, air bag systems and other products.
Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital, said Davalor's location in metropolitan Detroit enables it to provide cost-effective support to its Tier 1 customers.
“The company has established a strong presence in the automotive industry throughout the United States, and we see opportunities for continued growth in the region, along with significant customer expansion into Mexico. We are excited by the opportunity to not only drive growth at Davalor, but also offer new jobs and advancement opportunities for current employees,” he added in a news release.
Davalor owners David and Orman Bernhardt pleaded guilty in June 2011, in U.S. District Court, to wire fraud for misleading customers and auditors about the quality of materials in seat-belt components. At the time, their lawyers said the components had passed safety requirements.