Ballast Phoenix

Deal summary

Catalyst advised Netherlands-based Waterland Private Equity Investments (Waterland) on the refinancing of Ballast Phoenix to support its acquisition of the business from H2 Equity Partners in June and its ongoing growth. 

Ballast Phoenix, based in Lincolnshire, processes and recycles the ashes and metals produced by Energy from Waste (EfW) plants during the incineration process. It creates sustainable aggregates and recycled metals, thus avoiding any requirement for the use of landfill.

The business had seen significant growth during the 12 months prior to the refinancing, securing a number of new long-term contracts that would enable the number of recycling and ash processing plants to increase from 8 to 12 over the following 12 month period. The refinancing would support the largest capital expenditure programme in Ballast Phoenix’s history, thereby securing its position as the market and sustainable technology leader in the UK market.

Waterland has deep expertise in the waste sector. In addition to the acquisition of Ballast Phoenix, it also acquired Dutch firm Inashco in June 2015. Waterland is also the owner of Attero NV, one of the leading EfW and recycling businesses in the Netherlands.

What difference did we make?

We joined the transaction at the heads of terms stage and were appointed to manage the refinancing process for Waterland, advising on the structuring, selection of the preferred funding partners and negotiation of the terms of the new facilities. The timescale for the refinancing was short and the process was completed in August 2015.

Ballast Phoenix is an attractive business – coupled to its strong track record of delivering growth its business plan is underpinned by long-term contracts of between ten and 25 years. We tested the incumbent bank against a range of other direct lenders and alternative debt providers, leading a series of management meetings, diligence sessions and coordinating the offers process. Along with our in-depth understanding of the UK and international waste and energy sectors and expertise in the debt capital markets, we were able to negotiate innovative terms and a flexible structure with Lloyds Bank (the incumbent) and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), one of Canada’s largest institutional investment managers.

Lloyds supplied £25 million of the debt package and AIMCo provided £17.5 million, with the terms reflecting the significant capital expenditure programme planned for the initial years of the facility.

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