By Alex Binkley

McKeil Marine remains very much a family-owned business with the investment of TorQuest Partners in the Hamilton-based operation, says spokeswoman Catherine Harrison. TorQuest will be involved at the Director level and not in the day to day functioning of McKeil, she added in an interview. As McKeil is not publicly traded, the terms of the investment were not disclosed.

At the same time as the investment was announced, McKeil announced that President Steve Fletcher has added the CEO title and that Blair McKeil, previously CEO Chairman, was now Vice Chairman. “He plans to remain active in the company and will have his own office,” Harrison noted.

In a statement, Blair McKeil called the TorQuest involvement a milestone event that “is a testament to our skilled and dedicated crew, our valued customers, service providers and industry partners. Enhancing our ability to sustain and accelerate our growth is a fantastic way to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary. I am excited to remain an owner of the business and look forward to helping guide McKeil as it navigates its way to a stronger, better future. I believe the best is yet to come.”

“TorQuest’s investment in McKeil strengthens our ability to invest in our crews, expand our fleet and build upon our existing platform to better service a broader customer base,” Fletcher explained. “A new world of opportunity has opened up and McKeil is now uniquely positioned to act on these opportunities. I look forward to continue working alongside our outstanding crew – the men and women who have contributed to our success – and to begin partnering with TorQuest as we write the next chapter in McKeil’s history together.”

Michael Hollend, Partner at TorQuest, concluded, “McKeil has earned a long-standing reputation as an entrepreneurial business, a skilled and safe operator and a reliable business partner for its customers. TorQuest looks forward to supporting McKeil’s growth initiatives as its people continue to do what they do best – operate a preeminent Canadian marine service provider.”

Founded in 2002, TorQuest Partners is a Canadian-based manager of private equity funds. With more than $2 billion of equity capital under management, TorQuest invests in middle market companies, and works in close partnership with management to build value.