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Cleanaway UK sale creates huge interest

The planned sale of Cleanaway UK has created huge interest from companies within the waste management industry.

News agency Reuters has reported that Terra Firma Capital Partners, smaller rival Montagu which owns Cory Environmental and listed buyout firm Candover are all in the hunt for the company which Australia’s Brambles is trying to sell for about £550 million.

Trade bidders are expected to include French utility giants Suez and Veolia Environment for Cleanaway’s operations that provide waste collection, disposal and hazardous waste handling services.

Terra Firma Capital Partners financier Guy Hands stated in October that he plans to use his company Waste Recycling Group (WRG) as a vehicle to exploit an expected £10 billion waste sector spend over the next 10 years.

The company has also been listed among a number of companies keen on gatecrashing Biffa Waste Disposal’s planned de-merger from Severn Trent.

With Biffa valued at approximately £1.5 billion, Cinven, Candover and Blackstone have also emerged as early candidates to make a bid.

Hands has hired investment bankers to de-merge the waste-to-energy division of WRG, valued at £700 million, reportedly so he can set up a new fund to explore larger buys in the sector.

Terra Firma bought WRG for £315 million in 2003 and Hands has already signalled his intent to outlay large sums within the industry with his company helping to finance a £200 million incinerator in Kent.

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