18 December 2020 by Joshua Doherty

Wheelabrator to sell UK EfW arm

Wheelabrator Technologies has announced the sale of its UK energy from waste (EfW) division to the European Diversified Infrastructure Fund III, an infrastructure fund managed by First Sentier Investors (FSI).

The transaction is for an undisclosed amount and is expected to be completed in early 2021, Wheelabrator said.

Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 and 2, which will now solely be owned by FSI after it also acquired SSE’s stake in the plant

The deal will include the sale of all seven of Wheelabrator’s “strategically located waste-to-energy facilities”.  This includes stakes in the two Kemsley plants in Kent and Ferrybridge 1 and 2, as well as other facilities in North Wales, West Bromwich and West Yorkshire.

FSI, formerly known as First State Investments, has headquarters in Australia and is a global asset management firm.

Robert Boucher, president and CEO of Wheelabrator Technologies, said: “I am incredibly proud of the UK team and what we have achieved as one team to grow the Wheelabrator UK business over the last 11 years.

“I look forward to the business continuing to execute on their strategy for continued development of critical waste infrastructure in the U.K. with their new shareholder and partner.

“This is the result of many years of commitment, hard work, and strong partnerships with our customers and partners, and our ability to leverage our operational excellence from the US and embed it into the UK.”

Projects

Wheelabrator U.K describes itself as “the largest pure play waste-to-energy business” in the UK and operates its EfW portfolio through a subsidiary called WTI/EFW Holdings.

Wheelabrator Kemsley, which provides steam to the DS Smith paper mill nearby

In the past 12 months, Wheelabrator says it reached commercial operations at Wheelabrator Kemsley, a combined heat and power facility which provides steam to the DS Smith paper mill located in Sittingbourne, Kent.

It also reached commercial operations at two new waste-to-energy facilities in North Wales and West Yorkshire, Wheelabrator Parc Adfer and Multifuel Energy Limited Ferrybridge 2.

Milestone

Julia Watsford, managing director of Wheelabrator UK, said: “Today’s announcement marks another major milestone in the growth of our UK business.

“We’re excited to work with our new partners at FSI to continue to deliver the critical infrastructure required to support the safe and reliable treatment of non-recyclable waste, both now and in the future. I’d like to thank all of our team members for their continued hard work and commitment to Make A Difference to make this business and this transaction a success.”

Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan served as financial advisors to Wheelabrator UK on the sale and Linklaters served as legal counsel. Jefferies and Macquarie Capital served as financial advisors to FSI and Latham & Watkins served as lead legal counsel.

Multifuel

The moves comes soon after FSI says it acquired SSE’s 50% stake in the Multifuel Energy joint venture run, a project in which Wheelabrator has an equal share.

“We are looking forward to combining the businesses to create the U.K.’s pre-eminent waste-to-energy platform”

Nial Mills, managing partner, FSI

Niall Mills, managing partner at FSI, said: “We are delighted to make this investment in Wheelabrator UK. Following our recent agreement to acquire SSE’s stake in the Multifuel Energy Joint Venture, we are looking forward to combining the businesses to create the UK’s pre-eminent waste-to-energy platform.

“We are proud to support Wheelabrator U.K.’s role in facilitating the energy transition while diverting residual waste from landfill. We look forward to working with the team to grow the business and capitalise on the opportunities we see in the sector.”

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