Middle-market investment firm Norwest Equity Partners has made an addition to its portfolio with the acquisition of Quadion Corp. of Minneapolis.
Contract manufacturer Quadion — doing business as Minnesota Rubber & Plastics — does about $58 million in North American plastic injection molding business. The company injection molds close-tolerance plastic parts and assemblies for the medical, automotive, plumbing and industrial markets, among others. It also performs rubber molding and produces several lines of standard seals.
Norwest acquired MR&P from the Carlson family, which first launched it as a rubber seal and gasket manufacturer. NEP did not disclose financial terms of the deal.
“We will continue to invest in Minnesota Rubber & Plastics,” said Andrew Cantwell, NEP principal and MR&P board member, in a phone interview. “They're a long-standing business and we feel confident in their ability to grow and find new markets.”
He said MR&P knows plastics and rubber and NEP is excited about investing in a Minnesota business, its fifth company in that state out of a portfolio of 25.
Jim Lande, CEO of MR&P, said the manufacturer has grown significantly during the past five years.
“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,” Lande said in a news release announcing the deal.
NEP operating partner John Hale will become MR&P's chairman.
The company's U.S. injection molding plants are in Litchfield, Minn., and River Falls, Wis., but it employs more than 1,100 at nine facilities worldwide. Its other operations are in Plymouth, Minn.; Mason City, Iowa; Watertown, S.D.; Irvine, Calif.; Reynosa, Mexico; Pacy-sur-Eure, France; and Suzhou, China.
MR&P marketing director Aron Yngve said the firm's Suzhou rubber operation, which employs about 200, has shown tremendous growth. That plant makes components for sale in China and has doubled in size since its inception, to 70,000 square feet.
In-house, the company does assembly, clean room manufacturing, product and tool design, and counts the production of its own rubber and the use of engineered plastics, including PEEK, among its specialties.
Yngve said MR&P has been molding PEEK for about 20 years. That material's market has been growing, particularly its use in orthopedic implants, he said.
BMO Capital Markets, GE Antares Capital and U.S. Bank provided additional financing for the deal. Houlihan Lokey served as Quadion's financial adviser.
“MR&P is a terrific company and great fit for our portfolio,” said NEP managing general partner Tim DeVries. “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.”
Other MR&P end markets include off-road, distribution, food and beverage and fluid management.