Orval Kent Raises $24 Million from Mistral Equity

Chef Solutions Holdings LLC (a.k.a. Orval Kent), a Wheeling, Ill.-based manufacturer of fresh prepared foods for retailers and food service accounts, has raised $24 million from Mistral Equity Partners.


Mistral Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on the consumer and media sectors, announced today that it has invested $24 million in Chef Solutions Holdings, LLC and its affiliates, which, through its operating subsidiary Orval Kent Food Company, Inc. (“Orval Kent” or the “Company”), is the second largest manufacturer in North America of fresh prepared foods for retailers and food service accounts.

“As consumers continue to live more time-pressured lifestyles and demand increased convenience without giving up quality and taste, traditional grocery, mass and club retailers are focusing on meeting these demands through expanded product offerings in the fresh prepared food area,” commented Robert Fioretti, Managing Director of Mistral Equity Partners. “This provides an exceptional opportunity for Orval Kent, which, as one of the only companies in this sector with national scale, is well positioned to benefit from this growing trend. In addition, this transaction shows our continued focus on investing in consumer businesses with strong management teams that capitalize on demographic or psychographic trends.”

Steve Silk, CEO of Orval Kent said, “I am excited about our partnership with Mistral. Having known the principals for 15 years, I know that their knowledge of the market, growth-orientation and marketing acumen will enable us to become America’s largest and most trusted fresh foods provider. Their talents, combined with those of Questor and our management team, sets us up for market-leading performance.”

Orval Kent’s parent company is currently majority owned by private equity funds managed by Questor Management Company, LLC, an investment firm headquartered in Birmingham, Michigan. The proceeds of Mistral’s investment, which will be in the form of Subordinated Debt and Preferred Equity, will be used to pay down debt, fund various cost savings initiatives and provide funds for growth.

“We are delighted that Mistral has made this investment in Orval Kent. Not only are they investing significant capital at a time when the company is experiencing meaningful top line growth, they are bringing to the company and its Board deep food industry experience,” noted Robert Denious, Managing Director of Questor Management Company.

About Mistral Equity Partners

Mistral Equity Partners is a private equity firm comprised of highly experienced investment professionals and seasoned industry executives. The firm specializes in the consumer, retail, and consumer focused media sectors, and is especially attracted to businesses that are supported by strong demographic trends and fundamental changes in consumer preferences. Mistral’s principals have a long history of working together and identifying successful investment opportunities with these characteristics.

About Orval Kent Food Company, Inc.

Orval Kent has over 50 years of expertise and knowledge within the fresh prepared foods industry with strong national brand recognition. Providing a complete line of quality prepared products, from side dishes to deli salads to fresh-cut fruit to hot meal additions, Orval Kent provides industry expertise and business solutions to all major food channels and customers.

The company operates 5 manufacturing facilities in North America and has approximately 2,000 employees. Orval Kent Foods is a division of Chef Solutions, Wheeling, IL, whose parent, Chef Solutions Holdings, LLC, is majority-owned by Questor Partners Funds. Further information can be found at www.orvalkent.com.