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HomeBusinessMontana BusinessMountain Plains Equity Group purchased by Equity Fund

Mountain Plains Equity Group purchased by Equity Fund

National Equity Fund (NEF), a nonprofit real estate investment manager specializing in multi-family affordable housing, has broadened its presence in the western region through the acquisition of Mountain Plains Equity Group, Inc. (MPEG) and its subsidiary, MPEG Acceptance Corporation (Acceptance Corp).

MPEG, headquartered in Billings, commenced operations in August 2003 as a small Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) syndicator. The organization has played a key role in the development of affordable housing in six states: Alaska, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Acceptance Corp., established by MPEG, serves as a project-level investment entity, often acting as a special limited partner in LIHTC project partnerships. Matt Reilein, President and CEO of National Equity Fund, emphasized the growing need for affordable housing and NEF’s commitment to finding innovative solutions. The acquisition of Mountain Plains Equity Group provides NEF with a direct entry into states where it previously had a limited market share, enabling the support of sponsors and investors in a new region.

NEF now oversees six new private equity funds managing a total of 49 LIHTC properties, all geared toward serving low-income residents, including units set aside for individuals with disabilities and aging seniors. The acquisition aligns with NEF’s mission to create and deliver innovative financial solutions for affordable housing.

In 2022, NEF raised and deployed over $2.1 billion in affordable housing investments, with more than $1.2 billion specifically allocated to LIHTC investments. The addition of MPEG enhances NEF’s core LIHTC business and extends its reach through strategic partnerships.

Don Sterhan, President and CEO of MPEG for the past two decades, expressed his honor in joining forces with National Equity Fund. Under Sterhan’s leadership, MPEG has established a significant presence in the mountain and western region, fostering impactful relationships with investors and sponsors. The partnership with NEF enables a broader impact on communities previously beyond their reach.

As part of the transaction, the finance-oriented aspects of MPEG’s business, such as LIHTC syndication and investor equity fund management, will transition to NEF. Meanwhile, the staff and management of MPEG will remain active in the development side of the business through CR Builders, LLC, focusing entirely on housing development activities in the western region.

By: Montana Newsroom staff

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