Source Talks is a series where we discuss deal origination with PE and M&A pros, in collaboration with David M. Toll.

In this episode David speaks with Lauren Metz, Business Development Associate at Platte River Equity, about their approach to niche industries, how they leverage their expertise and relationships to find opportunities in adjacent sectors, and leveraging technology to get ahead of potential processes coming to market.

Machine generated transcript below:

Tell us about the Platte River equity and the kinds of things that you do there.

Platte River is a lower middle market, industrial focused private equity firm or based in Denver, Colorado and we invest in four target sectors, aerospace and transportation, industrial products and services, energy products and services and agriculture and chemicals.

I think largely we’re known as industry focused investors and known for the for target sectors that we invest in. But really narrowing down on specific subsectors and areas of interest has been really important because it makes for a more efficient conversation with intermediaries.

Our most recent platform, Investment, is a company called GME Supply. GME is a distributor of fall protection and safety equipment for workers primarily in the telecom industry. And we knew about the company through another one of our industrial safety distribution portfolio companies, Vertical Supply Group. GME was on our radar as a successful business in a related market.

So we met the owner at a trade show and stayed in touch with him, eventually got on the phone with him in one of our senior advisors and really leveraged our industry expertise to be helpful to him and left that conversation saying, let’s stay in touch. Shortly thereafter, we were invited to come meet in person and tour the facility. We really felt like we had a good story to tell the CEO and that we could help drive value.

So being a good partner to a business owner, ensuring that there was a natural cultural fit, that our values were aligned, et cetera, was was really important to him. And so as a result of that, he was willing to transact with us while maintaining a significant stake in the company and without having to run any sort of broad process.

Lauren, tell us about the ways that you use technology in your sourcing and and and how you how that helps.

We’ve put a lot of time and effort into cleaning up our CRM. Another really valuable platform we use is Sutton Place Strategies. Their weekly report that we pull that and discuss and review and our investment committees. And we’re also a huge fan of the Harvest Report that they put together. The Harvest Report captures sponsor companies that closed between a certain time period. So I think the one we’re working off of now is between 2013 and 2017.

And what you’re able to do is find businesses that could potentially be a fit or interesting for you and perhaps register interest with the sponsor, reach out to the intermediary who originally sold the deal and figure out if it’s something that might be interesting to you. So you’re almost getting ahead of a potential process. And so we found that to be a really neat way and seeing the universe of companies out there.

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