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£10m investment in NI recycling firm

Bgf photo 1

Northern Ireland waste firm RiverRidge Recycling has secured a £10m investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF).

The company, launched in 2011, said it will use the money for expansion across the country to further develop its facilities.

It also confirmed it has secured a new funding package from the Bank of Ireland to further support growth.

Following the deal, Augean chairman Jim Meredith has co-invested alongside BGF and has been appointed by RiverRidge as non-executive chairman. Paddy Graham (pictured left), an investor at BGF, will also join the board of the company.

RiverRidge managing director Brett Ross (pictured right) said: “We have worked tremendously hard during the past five years to become the market leader in Northern Ireland.

“It is therefore a significant endorsement of this effort to be able to announce the investment by BGF into our Group.

“We are looking forward to further growing the RiverRidge Group and believe we have found partners, in both BGF and Bank of Ireland, which not only are best placed to support this progression but also understand the strategy thoroughly.”

This is the second investment that BGF, which was set up to support SMEs in 2011, has made in Northern Ireland following its investment in Derry-based housebuilder Braidwater last year.

Unlike traditional private equity funding, BGF makes long-term investments and holds non-controlling stakes in the companies it supports. BGF is now a minority partner in more than 140 companies across the UK.

Graham said: “Many businesses have ambitions to grow but lack access to funding or cannot fully achieve their aims using only bank lending. BGF offers an alternative to this.

“We now have a proven model and an established infrastructure. We’re focused on finding strong management teams with deep knowledge of their sector, and we are keen to meet ambitious entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland.”

RiverRidge is the largest independent waste management operator in the country, treating more than 400,000 tonnes of waste each year on behalf of local authorities, businesses and households.

It employs over 200 people and operates sites in Belfast, Coleraine, Derry-Londonderry and Portadown.

When it assumed management responsibility for the Londonderry site in November last year, a fire broke out the following morning.

At the time, a company spokesperson said: “The company operates under strict and rigid quality and regulatory directives, and this unfortunate event is in no way due to operating activities attributable to [the firm].”

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