US private equity firm completes Biffa acquisition

Energy Capital Partners (ECP) has completed its acquisition of Biffa for an approximate total of £1.3 billion. Shareholders will receive 410 pence per share.

Biffa collection truckThe shares were this morning (27 January) suspended on the London Stock Exchange and ownership passed to ECP under the vehicle Bears Bidco Limited.

Biffa first received the takeover offer in June 2022 with a proposal for 445 pence per share – valuing the waste and recycling firm at around £1.36 billion. The takeover was agreed upon in September 2022.

The decision to sell Biffa came following an evaluation by the company’s board and financial adviser, Rothschild and Co.

ECP is a US private equity firm based in New Jersey with a speciality in power generation, renewable and storage assets, and critical sustainability and decarbonisation infrastructure. The firm previously owned US Energy from Waste (EfW) company Wheelabrator Technologies, which has since been sold to Macquarie Infrastructure Partners. ECP currently holds two US recycling companies which specialise in the processing of tyres and batteries.

Commenting on the acquisition in September, Ken Lever, Chair of Biffa, said: "Since IPO in October 2016, the successful pursuit of our growth strategy has seen Biffa expand its leadership position in its I&C collections business and oversee a significant investment programme across UK green economy infrastructure, strengthening its capabilities as one of the leading sustainable waste managers in the UK.

"ECP is an experienced investor in environmental infrastructure and sustainability assets and offers a supportive environment to accelerate the Group's further development and growth as a leading enabler of the circular economy.

"Whilst being lower than the proposal previously announced on 7 June 2022, it is the Biffa Board's view that this offer represents a compelling opportunity, particularly in a weakening economic environment, for shareholders to realise, in cash and with certainty, the potential for future value creation."

Andrew Gilbert, Partner of ECP, added: "ECP is excited to begin this long-term partnership with Biffa and its extremely talented employees and leadership.

“We intend for Biffa to remain focused on providing the high level of service to which its customers have become accustomed and look forward to supporting Biffa's strategic initiatives, development, growth and industry leadership."