American investment firm KKR acquires Viridor for £4.2bn

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KKR, a global investment firm, has successfully acquired recycling, renewable energy and waste management company Viridor for £4.2 billion today.

Phil Piddington, who has been Viridor’s Managing Director since 2016, assumes the role of Chief Executive Officer.

He said KKR recognised the strategic value of Viridor’s UK recycling and residual waste management platform and growth opportunities linked to a significant UK capacity gap in recycling/reprocessing infrastructure and energy recovery technology.

KKR’s Head of European Infrastructure Tara Courtney Davies, commented on the news: “We see enormous potential for Viridor as a standalone business.

“The company is already a sector leader with a strong platform and an experienced management team.

“With KKR’s support, Viridor is uniquely positioned to invest further and continue to build critical infrastructure, helping the UK meet long-term sustainability and environmental goals.”

Viridor also announced the appointment of Ian Wakelin as Chairman of the company.

The former Chief Executive Officer of Biffa plc, Mr Wakelin said he was excited about his return to the sector.

He commented: “Viridor is clearly well-positioned to continue to deliver excellent growth and this is enhanced by the investment from KKR, a group which values infrastructure development.

“I look forward to working with the Viridor management team over the coming years to deliver their vision for the company.”

Mr Piddington added that Viridor would continue to advance its plans for future growth with infrastructure investments backed by long-term contracts, saying: “We are exploring options for three more energy recovery facilities, including a new plant at Ford in West Sussex, another joint venture with Grundon Waste Management.

“This supports market demand for landfill-diversion facilities which produce low carbon heat and power and contribute to UK resource and energy efficiency.

“As a complete waste and resource management company working across the UK, we are keenly aware of exactly where the capacity gap exists.

“We are confident that we are best placed to deliver the environmental ambitions of the UK and its devolved administrations, especially where these focus on green recovery, jobs, innovation and infrastructure.”