Platte River bets on growth in specialty chemicals

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Private equity firm Platte River Equity has purchased MFG Chemical Inc., a manufacturer of polymers and other chemical substances. The current deal comes approximately six months after the PE firm bought crop chemical producer Tiger-Sul Products LLC.

MFG has been operating for more than 30 years manufacturing specialty chemicals used in a variety of applications for the oil field, water treatment, mining, coatings, agricultural and industrial markets. The Dalton, Georgia-based target produces surfactants, polymers and esters. MFG received funding from the PE firm’s third fund, Platte River Equity III L.P. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Platte River, based in Denver, is a private equity firm that typically invests up to $80 million in lower middle-market businesses with $40 million to $250 million in enterprise values. The firm targets industries including: aerospace and transportation, energy and industrial, agricultural and chemicals, metals and minerals. Platte River previously acquired CTS Engines, bought industrial tool manufacturer Jameson LLC, and invested in hoist maker Huskie Tools.

Agriculture and specialty chemical businesses have driven many middle-market deals. KMG Chemicals Inc.’s (NYSE: KMG) acquisition of Flowchem; the Jordan Co. LP’s purchase of DuBois Chemicals Inc., a chemical producer for the manufacturing industry, from Aurora Capital Group; Maroon Group LLC’s acquisition of Lincoln Fine Ingredients; Hastings Equity Partners’ acquisition of Impact Chemical Technologies, a chemical maker to the oil and gas industries; Advent International’s acquiring chemicals producer Viakem SA de CV; Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. merging to form a $130 billion chemical company.

Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP served as legal counsel to Platte River. Grace Matthews served as adviser to MFG. Monroe Capital also provided financing on the MFG transaction.

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