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DENVER-Local entrepreneurs Bill Piper and Todd Hills are paying $4.2 million for the largest pawn store chain in Colorado.

Piper, 35, and Hills, 36, are buying the “bricks and mortar” and the assets of the 13 US Pawn Inc. chain, a publicly traded company based in Westminster, a northwest suburb of Denver. The two already own six pawnshops in the Denver area and one in Wyoming. US Pawn, which has been losing money, is publicly traded, but Piper and Hills plan to merge the 13 stores with their privately held company. They are not buying US Pawn’s stock, which trades at about $1, down from a high of about $4.75.

Their Denver deal will likely close in late 2000 or early 2001. They also are looking at buying a 15-store pawn shop chain in Los Angeles. Ultimately, their goal is to build the largest chain of privately owned pawnshops in the country.

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