5 December 2007 by Chloe Doel

Viridor buys Grosvenor Waste Management for 81m

Viridor Waste Management has taken over the largest materials recycling facility in the country, acquiring the Kent-based company Grosvenor Waste Management for £81 million.

The waste firm's parent company, Pennon Group, announced the acquisition this morning, stating that the move was in line with its “stated strategy of expanding its waste management activities, particularly in the areas of resource management, waste treatment and disposal”.

Grosvenor operates the largest sorting plant in Britain at Crayford

Grosvenor operates the largest sorting plant in Britain at Crayford

Viridor already had a working relationship with Grosvenor through the re-fitting of Viridor's Masons MRF in Suffolk, and in the processing of commingled material collected by Viridor in places like Poole and West Sussex.

The takeover hands Viridor the Grosvenor MRF at Crayford, south east of London, which processes around 400,000 tonnes of commingled paper, plastic, metals and glass each year.

It will also see Viridor operating the Peterborough sorting plant on behalf of Peterborough city council, which brings the company's combined processing capacity up to half a million tonnes a year. 

With a third site in Wolverhampton, the acquired company has a range of household, industrial and commercial waste collection and processing contracts.

Viridor said the Crayford and Peterborough operations will be integrated into Viridor's south eastern region. A new subsidiary – Viridor Resource Management Ltd – will oversee the marketing of sorted materials. It is understood that Grosvenor managing director John Viviani is remaining at the company, heading up Viridor Resource Management.

The company told city investors that the acquisition was expected to be “earnings enhancing before amortisation of intangibles in the first full year”.

“Innovative”

Commenting on the acquisition, Mike Hellings, managing director of Viridor Waste Management said: “The UK's waste strategies demand ever-increasing levels of recycling. Grosvenor has an excellent track record over recent years in leading the way in the recycling market. Their innovative and professional approach will fit very well with the Viridor culture, as demonstrated by their accreditations to quality, environmental management, and health and safety management systems. We look forward to welcoming and working with our new colleagues.

“This acquisition fits with Viridor's strategy of expanding its materials recycling capacity, particularly where there are synergies with existing assets,” Mr Hellings added.

For Viridor, the acquisition of Grosvenor will mark a major boost to its materials processing capabilities as the company prepares to take on the largest waste management contract in the UK so far, the Greater Manchester PFI scheme (see letsrecycle.com story).

It also means a stronger presence in the South East of England, where Viridor already has operations thanks to its acquisition of Thames Waste Management in 2004 and Brett Waste Management in 2005.

Grosvenor Waste Management hit the headlines last winter over its court case involving the export of mixed recyclables abroad (see letsrecycle.com story).


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