Data compiled by corporate financial consultancy Catalyst has revealed there were 45 mergers or acquisitions involving UK corporations and waste firms in 2017.
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Despite this being slightly down on the previous year, Mark Wilson, partner and head of waste and energy (pictured), said there had been a number of “high profile” transactions.
Under its top five waste deals, Catalyst listed Irish company PandaGreen’s acquisition of WSR Recycling, as the company looked to expand in the UK.
It also said Shanks’ £416m merger with Van Gansewinkel Groep, to form Renewi, had allowed it to become a “major European player”.
Cory Environmental’s landfill and gas division was acquired by Bermuda-based reinsurance company Armour Group. Catalyst said this was “an unobvious investor targeting a long-term yield on run-off assets”.
Catalyst also said there had been a re-emergence of mid-market private equity interest in the sector.
First Mile Recycling completed a management buyout with Growth Capital Partners, which allowed the exit for one shareholder and the distribution of equity to the wider management team.
The Catalyst data excludes businesses bought out of administration and initial public offerings.
Wilson said: “Despite all the political distractions, M&A activity in 2017 has been buoyant, underpinned by acquisitive cash-rich corporates seeking growth and consolidation, and increasing numbers of private equity firms and lenders with significant amounts of capital to deploy.
“We don’t see any reason why there won’t be more of the same in 2018.”