BGF recently invested £10m equity capital in RiverRidge Recycling. RiverRidge is the largest independent waste management operator in Northern Ireland, treating over 400,000mt of waste each year on behalf of local authorities, commercial businesses and individual households.
The owners of RiverRidge acquired a small skip hire and landfill site in 2011, and since then the business has grown via organic growth and acquisitions into a fully integrated waste management business that employs over 200 people.
The organisation, led by Managing Director Brett Ross, operates out of a number of sites located in Belfast, Coleraine, Derry-Londonderry and Portadown. It was the primary developer of the Full Circle Generation Energy from Waste facility located adjacent to Bombardier’s Wing Facility in Belfast. The £107m project which is nearing completion, was co-financed by Green Investment Bank, Equitix and P3P Partners.
BGF’s £10m investment is being used to support the company’s continued growth strategy as well as to further develop the group’s existing treatment and operations infrastructure. At the same time as BGF’s investment, RiverRidge secured a new funding package from Bank of Ireland to further support growth.
Jim Meredith, current Chairman of Augean Plc, one of the UK’s leading specialist hazardous waste management businesses, and former CEO of Waste Recycling Group, co-invested alongside BGF and was appointed by RiverRidge as non-exec chairman. Paddy Graham, an investor at BGF, will also join the board of the company.
Brett Ross, MD of RiverRidge commented: “As a company we have worked tremendously hard over the past five years to allow us to become the market leader in Northern Ireland. It is therefore a significant endorsement of this effort to be able to announce the investment by BGF into our Group. We are looking forward to further growing the RiverRidge Group in the coming years and believe we have found partners, in both BGF and Bank of Ireland, who not only are best placed to support this progression, but also understand the strategy thoroughly.”
The £10m investment by BGF in RiverRidge is one of the largest single equity investments into a Northern Ireland company made in recent years.
BGF initially invests between £2m and £10m and can provide additional funding to support further growth. It backs private and AIM listed companies that typically have revenues of between £5m-£100m, across all sectors except financial services.
The Bank of Ireland has provided core funding facilities and support to the RiverRidge Group since the initial acquisition in 2011.
Interview with Avril McCammon of John McKee Solicitors:
Please tell me about your involvement in the deal?
We have a particular interest as a firm in this sector, and our experienced banking team, led by Avril McCammon and Julie Huddleston, were able to work alongside Bank of Ireland, the advisers acting for the company, and the Business Growth Fund, to reach financial close in a timely manner.
Why is this a good deal for all involved?
The transaction showed the ability of a local company, supported by a local bank, to attract substantial additional investment.
What challenges arose? How did you navigate them?
The challenge, as in any transaction, is to reach a commercial agreement that is acceptable to all parties. All legal advisers worked together in a very pragmatic manner to ensure that the best results possible were achieved for each client.