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October 24, 1996 - Castle Harlan Investment Group Buys Tradesco Mold Limited

NEW YORK, October 24, 1996 -- Harlan, Inc. the New York merchant bank, announced today that its investment partnership, Castle Harlan Partners H, L.P., had acquired a controlling equity interest in Tradesco Mold Limited, the leading North American manufacturer of custom high-speed plastic injection molds and tooling systems for the packaging industry, in a transaction valued at approximately $25 million. Members of the company's management also participated in the acquisition.


Tradesco, a closely held private company based in Toronto, Ontario, was sold by its founders. It produces custom injection molds, based on proprietary designs and patents, for use in the plastics packaging industry. Tradesco's molds are particularly well-suited for applications in which large volumes of parts must be produced at high speed to extremely fine tolerances, such as containers, lids and disposable flatware.


"We believe that the growth prospects for Tradesco are outstanding,' said Robert Wages, a vice president of Castle Harlan. "We are confident that the resources provided by this transaction will enable the company to continue to build on its excellent reputation for designing innovative mold systems for the most sophisticated packaging customers."


This was the first foreign acquisition and the 10th acquisition overall completed by Castle Harlan Partners II, an investment partnership managed by Castle Harlan with capital of $275 million from major corporate and public pension funds, college endowments, foundations and individual investors,


Since Castle Harlan's founding in 1987, its two funds have completed acquisitions totaling $2.5 billion in the aggregate, including Ethan Allen Interiors; Delaware Management Company, the $30 billion Philadelphia money management firm; Morton's of Chicago steakhouse restaurants; Smarte Carte, the airport luggage cart rental firm; and INDSPEC Chemical Corporation, the world's largest producer of resorcinol.


Castle Harlan, Inc., was founded by John K, Castle, a pioneer in private equity limited partnerships and former president and chief executive officer of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, the investment banking firm and Leonard M. Harlan, former chairman of The Harlan Company, a diversified real estate and corporate finance advisory firm sold earlier this year to Ernst & Young, the accounting firm.