Paul Taylor, CEO of Guaranty Bank and Trust, which finalized its merger with Home State Bank in 2016. Courtesy Guaranty Bank

Deals of the Year in 2016

What are the top transactions for 2016 in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado? BizWest’s second annual “Deals of the Year,” covering 2016, runs the gamut from complicated hotel deals to multibillion tech mergers to combinations of some of the region’s preeminent banks. You’ll also find one of the nation’s largest sporting-goods stores and a $500 million venture fund. Still hungry? We’ll even toss in a little nut butter to keep you satisfied. Deals were evaluated by the BizWest editorial team, with consideration given to impact, complexity and size of the deal, both in terms of dollar volume and, when appropriate, square footage. Deals could include mergers, acquisitions, construction projects, leases, sales, venture-capital funding and expansions. We considered both deals announced in 2016 but not yet consummated, and deals that were fully realized in 2016, even though they might have been announced previously. Here are the winners and finalists in each category: ———————— AGRIBUSINESS Deal of the Year: Ranch-Way Feeds acquired by Minnesota’s Hubbard Feeds Value: N/A Players: Ranch-Way Feeds, Hubbard Feeds Ranch-Way Feeds, the oldest continuously operating business in Fort Collins, was acquired  in June 2016 by Mankato, Minn.-based Hubbard Feeds. Hubbard is a subsidiary of Ridley Inc., which was acquired last year by Alltech Inc. Ranch-Way, 416 Linden St., manufactures and distributes more than 50,000 tons of livestock feed annually in the Rocky Mountain region. The company also owns retail stores in Fort Collins and Santa Fe, N.M., which were included in the acquisition. Hubbard Feeds will continue to market and sell the Ranch-Way brand of feeds. Ranch-Way’s plant gives Hubbard 20 manufacturing facilities across the country. Runners-up: Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (Nasdaq: PPC) in November 2016 announced plans to acquire Minnesota-based GNP Co. for $350 million in cash. The deal was completed in January. GNP is a provider of premium branded chicken products in the Upper Midwest. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., which bought a 31 percent stake in Boulder-based AeroGrow International Inc. in 2013, has increased its stake in the local firm to 80 percent. AeroGrow said in December that Scotts had exercised warrants to purchase the additional shares for $47.8 million in cash. ———————— APARTMENTS Deal of the Year: Solana 3100 Pearl apartments in Boulder sell for $136 million Value: $136 million Players: Rockwood Capital, Greystar Investor interest in Boulder apartments doesn’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon, and that trend drove many deals in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado in 2016. One big deal was for the Solana 3100 Pearl apartments in Boulder, which sold for $136 million, or $426,332 per unit. Real Estate Investment firm Rockwood Capital — which has offices in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles — used an entity called 3100 Pearl Owner LLC to buy the apartments from Greystar, an apartment investment and management giant based in South Carolina. Residents of the 319-unit complex received notice that the apartments were under management of Greenwood Village-based Griffis Residential, which owns and manages a portfolio of apartment communities in…

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