Urbaser sold to US equity firm

An American firm has acquired Urbaser from a Chinese-owned company for approximately $4.2 billion (£ 2.97 billion).

Urbaser is headquartered in Spain but has a growing presence in the UK
Urbaser is headquartered in Spain but has a growing presence in the UK

Platinum Equity, which is based in Los Angeles, announced on 6 June that it had entered into “definitive agreement” to purchase the waste management company, which is headquartered in Madrid, Spain.

The sale expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2021, subject to “shareholder and customary regulatory approvals”.

Alongside a growing presence in the UK market, Urbaser employs more than 50,000 people in 25 countries across a number of environmental management contracts.

It also operates 133 waste treatment facilities with a total of 20 million tonnes treated.

‘Ideal partner’

Platinum Equity said that upon closing the deal, José María López Piñol will continue to lead Urbaser as chief executive officer.

Mr. López Piñol said: “Platinum’s global operating capabilities, financial resources and commitment to supporting our business make it the ideal partner. We will be able to accelerate our geographic expansion, maintain a healthy balance sheet and continue investing in sustainability.”

Tom Gores, founder and CEO of Platinum Equity added that Urbaser is a “complex company” and a “vital service provider”.

He continued: “It is a leader in a sector that requires both operational excellence and ESG best practices. It is tailor-made for Platinum’s hands-on approach, and we’re excited about the opportunity.”


Urbaser currently holds a number of large contracts with councils in the UK. Earlier this year, it acquired six contracts from Amey, with a portfolio value of over £30 million a year.

The current contracts include services for  Solihull metropolitan borough,  Gloucester city , Selby district , and Eden district council.

According to Platinum Equity, it made approximately $2.8 billion (£1.98) in revenue for the year 2020 globally.

It has also been part of a legal battle with Essex county council regarding its joint venture project with Balfour Beatty, UBB Waste Essex (see letsrecycle.com story).

China Tianying

China Tianying purchased Urbaser from its previous Spanish parent company Actividades de Construccion y Servicios (ACS) in 2016.

This saw the waste management company begin to take on a range of municipal services across the UK (see letsrecycle.com story).

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