Canadian private equity firm TorQuest Partners has completed its previously announced sale of a majority stake in Kissner Milling Co Ltd, a producer and distributor of bulk rock salt and specialty deicing products. The buyer was an investor group led by Metalmark Capital and that included Demetree Salt LLC and Kissner’s management team. TorQuest acquired the Cambridge, Ontario-based company in 2013 and recapitalized its balance sheet last year. In partnership with Kissner’s management, it also made a number of operational improvements to the business. Based in Toronto, TorQuest is currently investing from TorQuest Partners Fund III, which closed at $535 million in September 2013.
TorQuest Partners Fund III Completes Sale of Kissner Milling Company Limited
TORONTO, May 15, 2015 – TorQuest Partners announced today that the firm and its co-investors have completed the sale of their majority interest in Kissner Milling Company Limited (“Kissner” or “the Company”) to an investor group which includes Metalmark Capital, Demetree Salt, LLC. and Kissner’s management team. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Daniel Sonshine, a Partner at TorQuest Partners, said, “Kissner has proven itself as a leader in the de-icing market, and demonstrated an ability to generate strong cash flows through all market cycles. On behalf of TorQuest and our investors, we would like to thank Kissner’s management team for their dedication to the Company and excellent work over our hold period. We are very pleased with the result of our first Fund III investment.”
TorQuest and its co-investors acquired Kissner in November 2013 and recapitalized the balance sheet in May 2014, allowing the Company to repurchase the equity of a large shareholder, pre-fund significant capital expenditures that were used to improve operations, and provide a dividend to remaining shareholders. Throughout its ownership, TorQuest worked with Management to improve efficiencies at the Detroit salt mine, enhance the supply chain and production mix of the packaged specialty deicing products, create greater focus by divesting non-core assets, and bolster the Company’s long-term salt resources through a joint venture.
Headquartered in Cambridge, Ont., Kissner is a leading producer and distributor of bulk rock salt and packaged specialty deicing products across North America. Kissner owns and operates a rock salt mine located in Detroit, Michigan, which began operations over 100 years ago and today is one of the most efficient and safest rock salt mines in North America. With a vertically-integrated supply chain for packaged deicing products, Kissner is highly differentiated in its industry and one of the most cost-competitive producers and distributors of bulk rock salt and other packaged deicing products, across its markets.
About TorQuest Partners
Founded in 2002, TorQuest Partners is a leading Canadian-based manager of private equity funds. TorQuest seeks to pursue investments in North American middle market companies, with the goal of building value in partnership with management teams. With more than C$1 billion of equity capital under management, TorQuest is currently investing from TorQuest Partners Fund III, a $535 million fund that closed in September 2013.
For further information, contact:
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock