Quercus announces significant waste sector deal

March 12, 2019
Neil Giles

Quercus Corporate Finance is delighted to announce the sale of SWRnewstar to Biffa plc.

The Quercus team, led by Mark Whelan, advised the Board of Specialist Waste Recycling Group Limited trading as SWRnewstar, on the sale of the business tothe UK’s leading integrated waste management company, Biffa plc (“Biffa”) for c.£26m plus surplus cash.  The consideration was funded from Biffa’s existing cash and debt facilities.

Headquartered in Alton, Hampshire with further offices in Edinburgh, Daventry and Buckingham and operations at Bristol and Edinburgh Airports, SWRnewstar is one of the UK’s largest outsourced waste management companies, providing its broad customer base with flexible and innovative solutions to improve waste segregation, reduce costs and help them build a better environmental plan.

Biffa is an established sub-contractor to SWRnewstar, servicing around 11% of SWRNewstar’s customers’ requirements. The acquisition provides Biffa with the opportunity to increase the proportion of work serviced by its collection and processing network, as well as expanding routes to market.

Mark Whelan, Partner at Quercus said:

“Having started out with a single customer in 2007, SWRnewstar has, on the back of strong organic growth and focused, strategic acquisitions, established itself as a major player in the outsourced waste management sector.  It has now reached a scale where it was a logical step for Biffa to acquire the business enabling it to benefit from SWRnewstar’s innovative approach to waste and recycling services and supply chain management.”

Angus MacDonald, Chairman and founder of SWRnewstar added:

“When I made the decision to sell SWRnewstar, I was keen to have a very targeted marketing process focused on those organisations who would provide real strategic benefit to SWRnewstar.  I chose Quercus because of their sector knowledge and the strength and depth of their relationships with key individuals at the potential buyers.”

Michael Topham, Chief Executive Officer of Biffa, said:

“The acquisition of SWRnewstar represents a compelling opportunity for Biffa and provides further evidence of our ability to identify and execute cash flow enhancing and earnings accretive acquisitions. Bringing together SWRnewstar with Biffa’s leading Industrial & Commercial business will strengthen our offering while enabling us to profitably leverage our national network. We welcome the staff and customers of SWRnewstar to Biffa.”

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