Reconomy, the outsourced waste and recycling services business which operates across the UK, today announced the acquisition of Valpak the UK’s largest compliance scheme provider.
Founded in 1997 and based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Valpak provides environmental consultancy, waste management solutions and data management services to more than 4,000 UK customers.
The sale to Telford-based Reconomy, which has made a series of significant acquisitions over the past few years, comes just days after the publication of the Resources and Waste Strategy. Under the strategy’s proposals, Valpak’s operational arena is set for significant change once extended producer responsibility measures come into force.
In a statement, Reconomy explained that Valpak specialises in “helping businesses achieve environmental compliance, maximise cost savings and improve their environmental credentials in line with government legislation. Valpak services include the disposal of packaging, electrical equipment, batteries, hazardous materials and chemical substances, among other forms of waste and recycling.”
Earlier this year Reconomy bought the waste brokerage business, Waste Check, and waste consultancy specialists, Helistrat. Reconomy said Valpak is to continue to operate as a separate business and brand within the Reconomy Group of companies.
And, it added that through acquisition and organic business growth, the Reconomy Group’s combined revenue for the end of the 2018/19 financial year is forecast to exceed £250 million.
Commenting on the acquisition, chief executive of Reconomy, Paul Cox, said: “Our vision is to bring about change to the waste industry by pioneering new technologies and methodologies that make the process of dealing with waste far easier. This goal is shared by everyone at Valpak, so the ethos of our two companies is already very closely aligned.
“The acquisition of Valpak is another important step in Reconomy’s journey, enabling us to further broaden our sustainability and waste management offering. In 2019 Reconomy celebrates its 25th year of being in business and this acquisition is the first step in what promises to be an exciting twelve months for the company.”
Steve Gough, chief executive of Valpak, said: “With the launch of the government’s resource and waste strategy, the packaging and recycling industries are set for positive change. Valpak has seen significant growth and expansion over the past six years.
“We will benefit from being part of a larger group with a wide range of services.”Steve Gough
“As part of the Reconomy Group, I am confident we will be well-positioned to address that change and better support our members’ needs. At the same time, we will benefit from being part of a larger group with a wide range of services, similar culture and shared objectives in excellence and pioneering the industry.”
Data and technology
One of the areas in which both businesses see as key to success is data and technology with both having invested in this area. In the statement about the deal, Reconomy referenced the Resources and Waste Strategy and said: “The strategy places a far greater emphasis on businesses being able to deliver higher recycling targets and improve transparency through an increased focus on waste data and digital recording.”
Reconomy added that with Valpak it shared a “Commitment to tech-enablement. In 2018 Reconomy launched a suite of smartphone apps for use by customers, suppliers and its own auditing personnel. The ongoing digitalisation of Reconomy’s numerous systems and processes is setting a high benchmark which has the potential to benefit and influence the entire waste industry, as we move towards the compulsory electronic tagging of waste.”
Valpak’s roots go back to the very beginning of the packaging waste (PRN) system in the late 1990s. It was originally a member owned organisation with former environment secretary John Gummer, Lord Deben as chairman. In 2012 the business saw a management buyout with Greenpoint Holdings of Germany also taking a share (see letsrecycle.com story).
In the purchase, Reconomy was advised by: Eversheds and KPMG, while Valpak was advised by: Clearwater International; PwC; and Shoosmiths.
Reconomy principally operates across four key sectors: commercial construction, housebuilding, infrastructure and business & industry.