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December 2006
American Recycler Masthead


Private equity firms enter expanding glass recycling market Strategic Materials’ Guelph, Ontario plant was built nearly 10 years ago and    processes straight color bottle, highly contaminated 3mix and windshield glass.

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Private equity firms from Chicago, with hundreds of millions of dollars under management, now control the country’s two largest glass recycling companies.

WHI Capital Partners (WHICP), with $100 million under management, acquired Lombard, Illinois-based Container Recycling Alliance LLC (CRA) in August. CRA is the second largest glass recycling operation in the United States. It has 8 recycling facilities throughout the country and processes roughly 500,000 tons of glass per year.

Adam Schecter, managing partner of WHICP, would not reveal the purchase price or annual revenue numbers. But according to the firm’s Web site, the private equity firm invests in mature and profitable, mid-sized companies with leading market positions and revenues of $10 million to $100 million. WHICP parent’s firm, William Harris Investors Inc. is an asset management firm with more than $1 billion under management.

“CRA had most of the primary attributes we look for in an investment,” Schecter said. CRA has a strong leadership position, differentiation in the marketplace, a strong management team, strong customer relationships and high barriers to entry, Schecter said.

The glass recycling company is unique due to its expertise in utilizing optical sorting technology to produce cullet, the crushed and cleaned post-consumer glass used primarily for reuse in new glass packaging, Schecter said. CRA uses state-of-the-art automated ceramic detection and color sorting equipment as well as full bottle destruction and decasing capabilities. CRA is able to take in mixed color glass and optically clean the glass of contaminants and then sort the glass by clear, brown and green colors. more

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