13 January 2020 by Joshua Doherty

Talk grows of Viridor sale

Viridor has said it will “update the market as and when it is appropriate” in light of reports which suggest American private equity firm KKR lodged a bid for the waste management company last year. 

According to reports in The Telegraph this weekend (11 January), investment bankers from Morgan Stanley and Barclays have been appointed to sell Viridor, and an auction is thought to be taking place this year “for one of the most sought-after investments of 2020”.

Viridor’s strategic review is set to be completed this year

The paper claimed that KKR had attempted to “jumpstart” the official auction process for Viridor with a bid early last year, which was rejected. The report added that Viridor is valued at around £4 billion.

Viridor has a portfolio of 11 Energy from Waste plants which it says is worth around £1.5 billion. It operates the Lakeside facility near Slough with Grundon, with whom it also proposing a new plant in West Sussex (see letsrecycle.com story).

The reports come after the company announced in September 2019 that it was conducting a full review of its “strategic focus”, adding in its half year results in November that this would “conclude in 2020”.

Update

In a statement to letsrecycle.com today (13 January), a spokesperson for Viridor said: “The Pennon Board announced in September that it was conducting a full review of the strategic focus, growth options and capital allocation policy for the Group, in light of strong financial performance and operational progress, the new K7 regulatory delivery period for South West Water and growth opportunities at Viridor. The review is ongoing and all options are being considered. We will update the market as and when it is appropriate to do so.”

Viridor’s Runcorn EfW, one of 11 Energy from Waste plants in its portfolio

KKR describes itself as a: “global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds.”

Its portfolio contains several UK-based companies, including Bristol-based A-Gas, which provides recovery services for specialty gases, and the digital rail platform Trainline.

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