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Native American-owned private equity fund makes first acquisition

First Nations Capital Partners, the first private equity fund in the US controlled by Native American tribes, has acquired Able Card Corporation, a maker of plastic cards in Duarte, Cal

First Nations Capital Partners, the first private equity fund in the US controlled by Native American tribes, has acquired Able Card Corporation, a maker of plastic cards in Duarte, California.

The deal will keep Able Card at its facility near Los Angeles, preserve jobs for over 50 Latino and Asian employees, and enable expansion and entry into new markets. Terms were not disclosed.

First Nations Capital Partners invests in profitable companies with experienced management and niche markets. Investors include the Wells Fargo Community Development Corporation, the Colusa Indian Community and the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, and private individuals. The majority of the investors’ capital contributors are Indian tribes and tribal enterprises that want to diversify their investment portfolios.
 
‘This investment by First Nations is an example of Wells Fargo’s commitment to small business development and community economic development,’ says Bob Taylor, head of the Wells Fargo CDC, who helped launch the fund with Wells Fargo’s capital injection in April 2008.
 
‘Rincon’s investment shows our commitment to the development of California’s economy and to the management of Able Card,’ says Bo Mazzetti, chairman of the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians. ‘This is only the first step in our economic diversification strategies with our partners at First Nations.’
 
Able Card, founded in 1989, manufactures approximately 80 million plastic cards per year. Based in a 44,000 square-foot facility near Los Angeles, the company specialises in short- and medium-volume production runs for customers who need quick turnaround.
 
First Nations Capital Partners is the first inter-tribally controlled private equity fund in the US.

FNCP’s principal investors include the Rincon Band of Lusieno Indians, Colusa Indian Community Council, Wells Fargo and a group of experienced private equity investors.

The Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, located in Valley Center, California, own Harrah’s Resort and Casino, which features 667 guest rooms, spa, and upscale dinning near San Diego.

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