Greenstar set to be sold to US group

Ireland’s largest waste company looks set to be sold to a US private equity firm, the Gores Group.

The Sunday Independent reported that the Gores Group is in exclusive talks with Greenstar.

Greenstar is currently owned by NTR, which revived plans to sell its Greenstar Ireland waste operation for up to €150m in January.

The exact terms of the deal on offer from the Gores Group is not known, but it is speculated that Greenstar’s bankers will be forced to take a substantial cut of more than €80m.

Both Irish and English banks have been involved in funding the expansion of Greenstar; Bank of Ireland, Ulster bank and Bank of Scotland.

Greenstar, which employs 400 people in Ireland, has spent €320m over 10 years in the buying and improving of landfill and recycling facilities.

Greenstar’s earning have been impacted by the recession, falling from €55.6m in 2008 to €16m to the year ending last month.

The Gores Group has acquired 80 companies since it was founded by Alec Gores in 1987. It has annual revenues of more than €10bn. The company specialises in acquiring mature and developing business across a range of sectors including technology, telecommunications, business services, industrial, healthcare, and media.

NTR has been looking to move away from the Irish waste industry for two years. It informally offered Greenstar for sale then, but last year stepped up its efforts and appointed an advisory firm, Hawkspoint, to find a buyer.

The move is further evidence of NTR’s change of focus. In March, the company increased its stake in Wind Capital Group from 62% to 97% as part of a rebalancing of the company’s interests.

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