First Nations Capital Buys Able Card Corp.

First Nations Capital Partners has acquired Able Card Corp., a Duarte, Calif.-based maker of plastic cards. No financial terms were disclosed. This is the first transaction for FNCP, which was formed last year as the nation’s first Native American tribe-controlled private equity fund.



First Nations Capital Partners (FNCP) announced today its first acquisition: Able Card Corporation, a maker of plastic cards in Duarte, Calif. The deal will keep Able Card Corp. 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.


FNCP – the first inter-tribally controlled private equity fund in the U.S. – invests in profitable companies with experienced management and niche markets. Investors include the Wells Fargo Community Development Corporation (CDC), 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,” said Bob Taylor, head of the Wells Fargo CDC, who helped start 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,” said 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 specializes in short- and medium-volume production runs for customers who need quick turnaround. Able Card has grown with the increasing popularity of plastic identification and other cards among institutions such as casinos, hotels, libraries, clubs, retailers, schools, and corporations. A team of the company’s management remains as co-owners.


“Our purchasing department was impressed with the quality of Able Cards’ product,” said Bonnie Pullen, CFO of the Colusa Indian Community, which recently became an Able Card customer. “We will continue to look for similar acquisitions where we can create synergy with tribal plans to diversify and invest in quality companies.”


First Nations Capital Partners, LLC is the first inter-tribally controlled private equity fund in the United States. 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 FNCP motto of “Visionary Capital at Work” is to provide strategic resources for growing, profitable companies in traditional industries in the eleven Western States.


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


Colusa Indian Community Council is the governing body of the Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians. The tribe owns and operates the Colusa Casino Resort near Sacramento, Calif., and is a successful farming operator, raising crops such as rice.


Wells Fargo Community Development Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo and Company (NYSE:WFC), manages all CRA-qualified investments. With headquarters in San Diego, the CDC manages a portfolio in excess of $2 billion and focuses on affordable housing, economic development, job creation, and redevelopment.