15 November 2000

SITA buys United Waste Services

SITA has bought United Waste Services, it was announced this afternoon. The purchase creates a 480 million turnover waste business for the UK which is thought to be similar in size to Biffa Waste Services.

Few details have yet been released about how the takeover will be implemented but it is expected to come into force on January 1.

United Waste, headed by Robert Wheatley and Peter Neil, includes Lancashire Waste Services, Hughes Waste Management and AJ Bull.

Commentators suggested that the purchase gives SITA more disposal routes but less collections of material than its managing director Ian Goodfellow might have wished for.

The SITA deal is part of a programme of reorganisation today announced by the firm’s French parent Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux.

In a statement Suez Lyonnaise said it had reinforced the organisation of its core businesses, Energy, Waste Services and Communications by rationalising its Energy division.
This included details of changes to the structure of the businesses owned by Belgian firm conglomerate Tractebel. There is a complex shareholding link between Suez and Tractebel, the latter owning United Waste.

Tractebel's management said it aims to rationalise and optimise its energy division, recentering on its core businesses, namely energy and industrial and energy services, while simultaneously strengthening the group's waste services and communications sectors.

The 5 policy directions will take effect at the start of 2001. They are:
1. The transfer of Tractebel's European electricity assets to Electrabel.
2. Strengthening synergies between Electrabel and Distrigaz
3. The transfer to Tractebel of four GTM industrial companies, enabling the Energy division to create the European leader in energy and industrial services.
4. Tractebel to refocus its waste sector activities. Fabricom Group (a Tractebel subsidiary) and SITA will combine their activities in the special industrial waste (SIW) sector. Fabricom Group will hold a substantial stake in the new entity;
In the domestic and normal industrial waste sectors, SITA and Fabricom Group will join forces in a new entity covering the Benelux countries and in which SITA will be the majority shareholder. Watco's management will remain in charge of operations (Watco is a subsidiary of the Fabricom Group); Fabricom Group's other waste sector activities, especially EdS (Europenne de Services), will be sold in full to SITA.
Watco's Managing Director Yves Debruyne will take charge of the Benelux entity and will be invited to become one of the SITA group's two General Managers, working with Jacques Ptry, Chairman and CEO, and Dominique Pin, General Manager.
5. Tractebel's Communications businesses to be merged with Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux's Communications division.

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