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Mistral Equity Wrapping Up Debut Fund

Mistral Equity Partners, the new firm created by alumni of Trimaran Capital Partners, has all but closed its debut fund, peHUB has learned. The effort started out in September 2007 with an anchor commitment from Schottenstein Group and its sights on $500 million.

Since then the fundraising market has basically fallen apart and I’m sure Mistral’s focus on consumer products in a recession hasn’t helped. To date, the firm has closed on just under $300 million in funding. The fund will remain open until June 30 for any straggler investors who may come in at the last minute. Forum Capital is the fund’s placement agent.

I called Andrew Heyer, the firm’s Managing Partners, for comment. He said, “We’re very happy that we reached $300 million. We’re extremely comfortable operating with that sized fund and that much dry powder in this environment.

“With a 300m fund, I’m looking at bigger companies than I thought I could with that much. The need for $30 million to $50 million of equity capital is a lot more powerful now than it was a year ago. So even though I have less of it, it’s vastly more impactful,” he said.

The firm has so far deployed $40 million in its purchase of Shearer’s Foods, a salty snack food company it purchased an 80% stake in for just over $100 million in February 2008. Mistral Equity purchased the company for a 7x trailing EBITDA multiple, a 5.5x future EBITDA multiple, and a 1x revenue multiple from Harvest Equity Partners, a spin-off of Winston Partners.

Mistral Spins Out Of Trimaran