Denver Shop Eyes $350M For Fund III

Firm: Platte River Ventures

Fund: Platte River Ventures III LP

Target: $350 million

Placement Agent: Capstone Partners

Denver-based Platte River Ventures expects to start raising its third fund in the coming weeks, two sources told Buyouts.

The firm will seek to raise $350 million for the fund, Platte River Ventures III LP, a healthy increase from the $235 million in commitments it raised for its second fund, a 2008-vintage vehicle.

Capstone Partners, a placement agency, is helping Platte River raise the fund.

Platte River typically invests $5 million to $40 million in equity in companies generating revenues of $10 million and $150 million. Industries of interest include aerospace manufacturing and services; industrial products and services; metals, chemicals and natural resources; and energy services and infrastructure. Though Platte River typically seeks control of its target companies, it will take minority stakes in some cases.

On May 14, the firm announced an exit of a roll-up in the aerospace and defense market that could bolster its pitch to investors. The firm sold PRV Aerospace LLC, an Everett, Wash.-based aerospace and defense company that supplies components and other products to aircraft manufacturers, to Court Square Capital Partners for an undisclosed amount. Platte River formed PRV Aerospace in January 2010 by combining four aerospace companies it had bought between 2006 and 2008; once combined, the company also completed two add-on acquisitions.

Besides PRV Aerospace, Platte River’s other exit came in April 2008, when potash producer Intrepid Potash Inc. raised $960 million in its initial public offering. Platte River had bought a minority interest in the company in 2007. Its return on the investment is unclear.

Managing Director J. Landis Martin, a longtime executive in the industrial sector whose most recent post was CEO and chairman of Titanium Metals Corp., founded Platte River in 2005. The firm has nine investment professionals.