Private equity firms enter expanding glass recycling market
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
“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. ...read