Clamshell Buildings Receives Cash Infusion

Clamshell Buildings Inc., a Ventura producer of movable structures, has been recapitalized with an unspecified investment by venture capital concern Heller Equity Capital.

The deal was arranged by another Ventura concern, Venture Management Inc.

The refinancing will enable Clamshell to expand its marketing operations, said Rowland Hunt, Clamshell’s president and chief executive officer.

Clamshell, founded in 1983, produces aluminum-supported fabric structures, called Clamshelters, that are used worldwide by commercial and military customers.


The firm, whose name stems from the way its structures’ doors open and close, supplied 144 helicopter shelters for U.S. forces during Operation Desert Storm, Hunt said.

The buildings helped protect allied aircraft and other equipment from damage from sand.

“We’re still doing defense work, but most of our new designs are for civilian use,” Hunt said.

He cited two sports projects recently completed in Belgium--a 5,000-seat basketball arena and an indoor tennis center.

Clamshell has also built a 24,000-square-foot hangar for the Kentucky Air National Guard, warehouses used in the wake of Hurricane Andrew and a meeting hall for San Diego’s Hanalei Hotel.

Hunt said the privately held company’s sales have ranged between $10 million and $20 million annually for the past several years.

“We had an especially strong year in 1991 due to Desert Storm,” he said.