Club of Three Sells Solmetex to Avista

Club of Three Sells Solmetex to Avista

Avista Capital Partners has closed on its buy of Solmetex, a provider of waste management products and services used in the US and Canadian dental industry.

Solmetex is a maker of amalgam separators and other waste compliance products that remove mercury from dental wastewater created by the removal of amalgam fillings. Amalgam fillings contain a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper. Approximately half of a dental amalgam is mercury by weight.

Prior to 2017, dental offices typically disposed of amalgam waste down the drain with the wastewater then processed by sewage treatment plants which in many cases were not designed to treat or recycle mercury or other heavy metals. Dental amalgam is the largest source of mercury received by US treatment plants. In 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency put in place regulations that required dental practices to incorporate amalgam separators in their drainage systems.

In addition to its amalgam separators, Solmetex also provides its dental customers with recycling, disposal, and compliance certification services. Solmetex, led by CEO Nick Mozzicato, was founded in 1994 and is headquartered 30 miles west of Boston in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

In August 2020, Solmetex acquired Long Island-based Crosstex International, the dental division of Cantel Medical Corporation, which manufactures infection prevention and compliance products used for biological monitoring, sterility assurance, nitrous oxide sedation, and personal protection equipment.

“Our mission at Solmetex has always been to help dental practices achieve compliance in mercury removal and environmental waste reduction, for the health and safety of all patients,” said Mr. Mozzicato. “We are honored to work with thousands of dental offices and the nation’s leading dental distributors and thank them for their continued business. Likewise, we are excited about working closely with Avista, a firm that fully recognizes our value proposition and has a demonstrated track record of partnering with healthcare companies.”

New York City-based Avista, with over $6 billion of capital under management, makes control or influential minority investments in growth-oriented healthcare businesses with a specific interest in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, outsourced pharmaceutical services, distribution, and consumer-driven healthcare.

“Our investment in Solmetex represents an attractive opportunity to acquire the clear market leader in an indispensable category within the dental industry,” said Sriram Venkataraman, a partner at Avista. “With deep customer relationships, strong recurring revenues, a durable portfolio, and a new product pipeline, we believe Solmetex has the potential for robust domestic and international expansion.”

Avista acquired Solmetex from Riveria Investment Group, AVALT Holdings, and Gemini Investors which had acquired the company in 2013 from Texas-based Layne Christensen Company.

New York City-headquartered Riveria Investment Group invests in middle-market companies with $20 million to $200 million of enterprise value and $2 million to $25 million of EBITDA.

AVALT, a family office, makes control or significant minority investments of $25 million to $150 million in companies that have from $5 million to $35 million in EBITDA. Sectors of interest include business services, healthcare, consumer, industrials, and technology, media, and telecom. AVALT (the name of the firm is an acronym for Aligned, Value-Added, Long Term) was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Boston.

Gemini Investors makes equity investments of $3 million to $8 million in companies with revenues of $5 million to $50 million and EBITDAs of at least $1 million. Gemini was founded in 1993 and is based in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | January 21, 2021

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