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Traub Capital takes Sabatino stake, eyes new fund

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Traub Capital Partners is taking a significant stake in truffle specialist Sabatino Tartufi, Traub co-managing partner Mortimer Singer tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: With the investment, the New York-based PE firm has nearly deployed all the capital raised for its first fund and now plans to go to market with its second fund in the fourth quarter.

Details: Three Hills Capital Partners is investing alongside Traub in Sabatino.

  • Sabatino sells truffle honey, truffle zest and truffle chips in Whole Foods.
  • The plan is to expand the company's existing fresh truffle business, its industrial business that serves restaurants, and its CPG business.
  • Singer declined to comment on the size of the investment in family-owned Sabatino or whether it was for a minority or majority stake.

The intrigue: The truffle flavor, once reserved for high-end restaurants, is now making its way onto quick-service restaurant menus such as at Shake Shack, which offers truffle fries and burgers.

  • And the opportunity is bringing the truffle flavor to the masses.

What's next: Traub, which specializes in middle-market consumer-facing companies, plans to raise around $300 million for its next fund, Singer says.

  • The firm's LPs consist of family offices and leading executives in the consumer sector.

By the numbers: The firm has north of $200 million in assets under management, Singer says.

  • It invests in well-established consumer-facing businesses, have revenue between $50 million and $100 million, and profit margins of between 15% and 20%, he says.
  • It can either acquire minority or majority stakes and is solely an equity investor.

Flashback: Traub, historically a retail advisory firm founded by veteran Bloomingdale's executive Marvin Traub, announced the first close of its first fund in 2019.

  • Investments include Mana, a manufacturer of branded and private label prestige beauty products, Signature Brands, a manufacturer of dessert decorating products, and Hits, the largest producer of equestrian events in the U.S.
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