Indian firm acquires card maker

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DUARTE, Calif. – A private equity firm controlled by two California Indian tribes has acquired Able Card Corp., a maker of plastic cards based in Duarte.

The deal will keep Able Card’s 50 employees working at its 44,000-square-foot facility about 15 miles east of Los Angeles and enable expansion and entry into new markets, the firm said in a press release. The terms were not disclosed.

The firm is principally controlled by the Colusa Indian Community near Sacramento and the Rincon Band, Luiseño Indians of San Diego County and other individuals. The majority of the investors’ capital contributors are Indian tribes and tribal enterprises that want to diversify their investment portfolios.

“Rincon’s investment shows our commitment to the development of California’s economy and to the management of Able Card,” said Rincon Chairman Bo Mazzetti. “This is only the first step in our economic diversification strategies with our partners at First Nations.”

Able Card was founded in 1989 and manufactures approximately 80 million plastic cards per year. Able Card has grown with the increasing popularity of plastic identification and other cards among institutions such as casinos, hotels, libraries, clubs, retailers, schools and corporations. A team of the company’s management remains co-owners.

“Our purchasing department was impressed with the quality of Able Cards’ product,” said Bonnie Pullen, CFO of the Colusa Indian Community, which recently became an Able Card customer. “We will continue to look for similar acquisitions where we can create synergy with tribal plans to diversify and invest in quality companies.”

First Nations Capital Partners, LLC is the first inter-tribally controlled private equity fund in the United States.