BOULDER, COLORADO, US — Viserion Milling, LLC, a newly formed subsidiary of Viserion International Holdco, LLC, has entered an agreement to acquire Visalia, California, US-based Western Milling, LLC from Kruse Western, Inc. Viserion International and its subsidiaries are backed by Pinnacle Asset Management, LP, a New York, New York, US-based alternative asset management firm focused on global commodities markets.
Founded in 2000 with a heritage dating back to 1935, Western Milling is one of the oldest and largest industrial providers of mixed grain cattle feed products to the dairy industry in California. The company operates large-scale fertilizer transportation and grain merchandising businesses with a fleet of natural gas-powered trucks. In addition to mixed cattle feed, Western Milling provides customizable animal nutrition products, including complete feeds, blended vitamin-rich feeds, pelleted feeds for both poultry and branded pet foods, rolled grains, supplements, and other grain commodities, including millrun, molasses, rice bran and whey.
As part of the acquisition Viserion is acquiring Western Milling’s facilities in Visalia, Hanford and Famoso, California, US; Hereford, Texas, US; and Buckeye, Arizona, US.
“Western Milling has been a well-respected cornerstone of California’s agriculture industry for nearly a century,” said Aaron Wiegand, chief executive officer of Viserion. “We are thrilled to acquire this outstanding, multifaceted company whose feed mill and fertilizer operations will complement Viserion International’s existing grain-handling and commodity trading offerings. We look forward to working with Western Milling’s seasoned management team and excellent operational personnel, who will strengthen our international agribusiness platform.”
Chad Pinter, currently chief financial officer, will succeed Kevin Kruse as chief executive officer following the completion of the acquisition. Kruse, who is the grandson of Western Milling’s founder Otto Kruse, will continue with the company as executive chairman.
“Viserion International’s domestic growth plans will be significantly amplified by Viserion Milling’s comprehensive portfolio of agribusiness units and established presence in the California dairy market,” said Jason M. Kellman, managing partner and chief investment officer of Pinnacle. “Following Viserion International’s recent portfolio acquisition of 10 grain elevator facilities from Zen-Noh Grain Corp., we are pleased that the company continues to grow into one of the leading agricultural merchants in the US.”
Last year, Viserion acquired 10 grain elevator facilities across five states along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers with a total storage capacity of approximately 25 million bushels.
Over the past six years, Pinnacle-managed entities have made several strategic investments to bolster the firm’s physical commodities trading and merchanting businesses. The investments include acquiring Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, the world’s largest cattle feeding operation from JBS USA in 2018. In 2017, Pinnacle partnered with Noble Group’s former Head of North American Gas and Power, Ben Sutton, to acquire Sierentz Global Merchants and form Six One Commodities (61C), a global energy merchant. In 2021, 61C acquired Vega Energy Partners, Ltd. and WGL Midstream, Inc., a Houston, Texas, US-based energy merchant and wholesale energy solutions business. Pinnacle is also the largest shareholder of Concord Resources Holdings Limited, a global metals merchant formed in 2015 with a team of former Noble Group executives.