By: Frank Antosiewicz
September 17, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 17, 7 p.m. ET) — Quadion Corp., dba Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, is now part of local investment firm Norwest Equity Partners' portfolio.
Norwest purchased the Minneapolis-based company from the Carlson family, which actually started MR&P as a rubber seal and gasket company. The price and terms were not disclosed.
“We will continue to invest in Minnesota Rubber & Plastics,” said Andrew Cantwell, NEP principal and MR&P board member in a telephone interview.
“They’ve done a great job serving their customers over time and they’re really a solutions provider. They’re a long standing business and we feel confident in their ability to grow and find new markets,” he said.
Cantwell said that Norwest knows the plastics and rubber businesses and is excited about being able to invest in a Minnesota company, its fifth state company in a portfolio of 25. MR&P serves end markets that range from medical, automotive, plumbing, industrial, off-road, distribution, food and beverage and fluid management.
“MR&P has seen very significant growth over the last five years, and the capital investment from NEP will provide us with the resources necessary to help continue our overall growth objectives, including growth in China and within the medical market,” said Jim Lande, MR&P chief executive officer in a press release.
John Hale will assume the role of MR&P’s chairman.
MR&P employs more than 1,100 in nine facilities worldwide. It has operations in Plymouth and Litchfield, Minn.; Mason City, Iowa; Watertown, S.D.; River Falls, Wis.; Irvine, Calif.; Suzhou, China; Reynosa, Mexico; and Pacy-sur-Eure, France.
The company’s rubber operation in China have shown tremendous growth, according to Aron Yngve, director of marketing for PR&P. He said that plant makes components for sale in China and that it has doubled the size of its facility to 70,000 square feet. It employs about 200.
MR&P does plastic and rubber manufacturing, as well as assembly. Among its specialties are the production of its own rubber, and the use of engineered plastics, including PEEK.
Yngve said the company has been molding PEEK for about 20 years and that the market has been growing. It is particularly effective for use in orthopedic implants.
Additional financing for the deal was provided by BMO Capital Markets, GE Antares Capital and U.S. Bank. Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor to Quadion.
“MR&P is a terrific company and great fit for our portfolio. Both of our organizations have deep, Midwest roots, similar operating philosophies, and decades of business experience. MR&P will also benefit from NEP’s experience of building and working with family-owned businesses – we understand the dynamics and importance of solidarity,” said Tim DeVries, NEP Managing General Partner, in a statement.