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Plano Molding acquires sporting goods company Frabill

By: Rhoda Miel

June 19, 2012

PLANO, ILL. (June 19, 4 p.m. ET) — Fishing equipment supplier Plano Molding Co. is acquiring fellow sporting goods company Frabill Inc. in a move that will allow Plano to offer a wider variety of outdoor equipment.

Plano, based in Plano, Ill., has been injection molding tackle boxes since 1952 and it continues to make a variety of tackle boxes and tool boxes as well as carrying cases for items ranging from archery equipment to golf clubs. Its Caboodle line of cases focus on storage for cosmetics and crafts.

Frabill’s outdoor line complements the tackle boxes and other Plano items. The company, which is based in Jackson, Wis., has a product line that includes fishing nets, ice fishing gear, bait traps and bait containers.

“Frabill and Plano are a perfect fit – like peanut butter and jelly,” said Plano President and CEO Tom Hurt in a June 18 news release. “We serve the same customers and our products sit next to each other on the store shelf.”

Terms of the deal were not released.

Plano intends to keep Frabill’s existing manufacturing in place for the foreseeable future, said Joe Froelich, managing director of Corporate Financial Advisors LLC, a Milwaukee-based firm that advised Frabill along with William Soderstrom of Milwaukee attorney group Fox, O’Neill & Shannon. Michael Lust of McGuire Woods LLP in Chicago was legal advisor for Plano in the deal.

The Marble family has owned Frabill for 29 years. The deal with Plano provides resources for the operation to continue to grow, said CEO Jeff Marble.

Frabill uses plastics in some of its products, but buys it from outside suppliers, Froelich said.