NTR, the Irish and international renewable energy group, is selling its UK-based sustainable waste management business, Greenstar UK, to Montagu Private Equity and Global Infrastructure Partners, the controlling shareholders of British waste management company Biffa, for a gross consideration of £135m (Eur162m).
The Greenstar business will be merged with Biffa to create the UK’s biggest commercial and industrial recycling company.
Biffa has the largest industrial and commercial collections network in the UK serving over 70,000 customers through 1,450 collection vehicles and across 128 locations. Biffa currently handles seven million tonnes of waste each year, processes approximately half a million tonnes of recyclables through nine recycling facilities and operates two PFI contracts.
Greenstar UK is based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, and provides recycling waste management services to a large number of blue chip clients in the commercial and industrial sectors. Greenstar UK’s truck fleet of 569 vehicles provides collection services to 23 local authorities and over 900,000 homes and it operates some of the largest materials recycling facilities in the UK. The business employs over 2,000 people and reported sales of £145m in 2009.
Successful completion of the deal will release significant liquid resources for NTR Group, enabling it to both fortify cash reserves and strategically invest in other areas of its clean energy and resource sustaining portfolio. The net proceeds to NTR Group after repayment of debt and disposal costs will amount to about £80m.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory and various other approvals, arises from a strategic review by NTR of its business portfolio. The decision does not affect NTR’s Irish and US-based Greenstar businesses, which will continue to play a critical role in the group’s strategy to build and run clean energy and resource sustaining businesses.
The transaction represents just one dimension of NTR’s strategic evolution as it continues to preserve balance sheet strength at Group level whilst exploiting opportunities for growth across its portfolio. Other recent examples include the announcement of successful project debt financing of $240m by its wind business, Wind Capital Group and the securing of a Eur120m debt facility by its Irish Greenstar business. In addition, Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc., in which NTR has an investment, has also successfully completed an $80m primary equity raising.
Founded in 1978, NTR has evolved from being a developer and operator of infrastructure in Ireland to an international developer and operator of renewable energy (wind, solar and ethanol) and sustainable waste management businesses in the USA, UK, and Ireland. The Group employs over 4,100 people.