Metalmark Acquires Kissner Milling

Metalmark Acquires Kissner Milling

kissner nf1Kissner Milling Company Limited, a portfolio company of TorQuest Partners and a producer and distributor of bulk rock salt, has agreed to be acquired by Metalmark Capital and a consortium of other investors.  The transaction is expected to close on May 15, 2015.

Under the terms of the purchase and sale agreement, existing owners TorQuest Partners and its co-investors have agreed to sell their majority interest in Kissner to Metalmark, its investment partner Silvertree (a joint venture between Silverhawk Capital Partners and Demetree Salt), and members of the Kissner management team. Mark Demetree, founder of Demetree Salt, will assume the role of Chairman of Kissner upon the closing of the transaction.

Kissner Milling, which was acquired by TorQuest in December 2013, is a 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 which began operations over 100 years ago and today is considered one of the most efficient and safest rock salt mines in North America.  According to the company, its vertically-integrated supply chain for packaged deicing products makes Kissner one of the most cost-competitive producers and distributors in its industry.  Kissner Milling is headquartered in Cambridge, ON (

TorQuest makes equity investments of C$15 million to C$100 million in companies with enterprise values of C$40 million to C$250 million that are located in Canada and the US.  The firm invests in a range of industries but has a particular interest in manufacturing, business services, financial services, food, consumer products and specialty chemicals. TorQuest was founded in 2002 and has over C$1 billion of equity capital under management. The firm is headquartered in Toronto (

Daniel Sonshine nf1“Our long history with Kissner and its management team created a unique opportunity for our investment in 2013 and, during our hold period, Kissner’s management team did an exceptional job of growing the business and producing an outstanding return for the fund,” said Daniel Sonshine, a Partner at TorQuest Partners.

Metalmark Capital, the buyer of Kissner, was established by the principals of Morgan Stanley Capital Partners (MSCP) to manage the Metalmark Capital and MSCP funds. Since 1986, the Metalmark Capital and MSCP funds have invested $7 billion of equity capital in over 100 companies. Sectors of interest include healthcare, energy and industrials.  Metalmark Capital is currently investing through its latest fund that has $2.5 billion of committed capital. The firm is based in New York (

Jeffrey Siegal nf1“Over the past few years, CEO David Safran and his team have built Kissner into a fantastic business with unique and vertically-integrated assets that is well-positioned to continue to deliver exceptional products and service to its customers, provide opportunities for its employees and grow in the future,” said Jeffrey Siegal, Managing Director of Metalmark Capital. “We look forward to working with this great management team to help them execute their strategy and capture new growth opportunities.”

Barclays and Scotia Capital acted as co-advisors to Kissner on the sale.

© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 4-20-15

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