Platinum Equity set to launch third fund

The Tom Gores-led firm will target $3.75bn for the vehicle, which will officially launch in the next few weeks.

Platinum Equity is set to launch its third turnaround and special situations fund targeting $3.75 billion to invest in the uncertain economy, sources told Private Equity International.

The firm, led by Tom Gores, has been talking to investors about the new offering, but has not yet officially launched the vehicle, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

If Platinum successfully hits its target, Fund III will exceed the firm’s prior Fund II, which closed on $2.75 billion in 2008. That fund is getting close to being fully invested, a source said.

Platinum did not return a call for comment. Park Hill Group will work as the placement agent on the fundraising, according to a source, and the firm also did not return a call for comment.

The performance of Platinum’s prior two funds has been solid, sources said. Fund I, which closed on $700 million in 2004, was generating a gross 3.5x return on realised investments, and Fund II was producing similar results on realised investments, sources said.

Earlier this week, the firm announced it hired Evercore Partners to explore options for its portfolio company, the San Diego Tribune newspaper, which indicates the firm wants to sell the company, according to several media reports. The firm acquired the newspaper in 2009 for an undisclosed amount.