ROTOMOLDER PAWNEE BUYS BORSE INDUSTRIES

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Pawnee Rotational Molding Co. entered the industrial blow molding market with the March 22 purchase of Borse Industries Inc. of Willowbrook, Ill.

Pawnee made the deal to become a ``one-stop shop'' for large, engineered plastic parts, according to Larry Gies, a partner in Pawnee's parent company, Madison Capital Partners.

``We see a trend to consolidation in the [original equipment manufacturers'] vendor base and we want to be part of it,'' Gies said in a telephone interview from Madison's Chicago head office.

Gies said Pawnee and Borse share some markets and will be able to cross-fertilize their design, prototyping and production abilities. Pawnee bought the business from the Borse family trust, which had owned it after the business's founder, Tony Borse, died in 1994.

Borse had sales of more than $17.5 million last year, according to Brian Beth, president of Borse. It has 22 blow molding machines with shot sizes up to 50 pounds. Beth said it has blow molded an 111/2-foot kayak and can make parts as large as 4 feet by 13 feet. The firm was 23rd in Plastics News' 1996 ranking of North American industrial blow molders.

Borse's key markets include automotive, trucking, office equipment, recreation and construction. It molds polyolefins, including filled types and high molecular weight polyethylene, ABS and other materials.

The Borse purchase is Pawnee's biggest strategic move since Madison acquired the Maple Plain, Minn., firm in 1995. Beth said Madison approached Borse for a possible deal and the Borse trust felt the timing was right to sell. Only two of the Borse family members were involved in the business.

Mark Borse will continue in the firm's schedule and inventory management operations, Beth said. Gary Borse, former vice president and general manager, will ``move on to other things.''

Gies said Beth will continue as Borse president and Larry Paulson, Pawnee's president, will continue in his role.

Tony Borse founded Borse Industries in 1963 and sold it to Kuhlman Corp., now based in Savannah, Ga., in 1985, Beth explained. Tony Borse bought the business back from Kuhlman in 1989.

Pawnee had sales of $13 million last year, down from $17 million in 1995. Its major markets are transportation, playground equipment, beverage, recreational and industrial parts.

It ranked 17th in Plastics News' 1996 survey of North American rotomolders.