Category Archives: Transactions

Public Private Partnerships

More talk, but little mutual understanding or plans to fix the problem.

At the 21st Annual Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships, it was reported that utilities from both sides of the Atlantic discussed the importance of private funding to upgrade our water infrastructure.

I suspect that for the 21st time, the utilities expressed concern that ratepayers would resist rate increases especially if some of the increase was going into the pockets of private companies.

At some point in the future, the discussion may evolve to the fact that rates are going up in all events to continue to offer basic service.

Maybe then, the focus will shift to how to attract private capital, much of which avoids public deals.

Click here for more of the same old thing.

Siemens to Sell Water Technology Unit

Company logo of Siemens AG is pictured atop office building in BerlinSiemens has been reported to sell its water technology unit to a financial investor, AEA Investors, for $862 million.

Unconfirmed sources suggest the unit generated $1.3 billion in revenue in 2012 and its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was between $70 million and $80 million.

Click here to go to the Reuters article.

Sludge Removal Company Changing Hands

SynagroLogoSynagro, which hauls organic waste from treatment plants is being sold through bankruptcy to the Swedish firm, EQT.

The downturn in municipal budgets and high leverage from its buyout in 2007 is blamed for the bankruptcy.  The emerging trend toward alternative solutions to sludge elimination on site such as my client Gate 5 should send warning signals for the future.

Click here to go to the article which is presented below.


Carlyle’s Synagro seeks bankruptcy sale to Swedish firm

Wed, Apr 24 2013

By Tom Hals and Soyoung Kim

(Reuters) – Carlyle Group LP’s (CG.O: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) Synagro Technologies Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday with a plan to sell the business to a Swedish private equity firm for $455 million.

Synagro, the largest recycler of organic waste in the United States, has agreed to a sale to an investment fund associated with EQT.

Carlyle’s infrastructure fund had borrowed heavily to take Synagro private in 2007 in a $772 million deal.

Carlyle declined to comment.

The company contacted more than 100 potential buyers over the past four months as it sought a buyer, its chief executive, Eric Zimmer, told Reuters. “We cast the net pretty wide.”

The sale is subject to higher bids and must be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, where Synagro filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors.

Synagro, based in Houston, said in a statement it anticipates the sale will be completed in 60 to 90 days.

The company also agreed to a $30 million debtor-in-possession, or DIP, loan with its current lenders to fund operations during its bankruptcy.

The 2007 deal that took Synagro private left it vulnerable when municipalities cut spending on wastewater treatment and other environmental projects in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

The company manages byproducts of wastewater treatment, converting the residual matter into fertilizer and alternative fuels. The company is the largest in the $2 billion U.S. market.

The company also lost two major contracts in New York City and Detroit. Synagro’s Detroit contract was mired in a bribery scandal that weighed on the public image of the company.

Zimmer said Synagro has adjusted to the loss of the New York contract in 2010 and said the Detroit agreement never got underway.

Carlyle brought in Evercore Partners earlier this year to find buyers for Synagro, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in January.

Synagro said in court documents it had assets of between $10 million and $50 million and liabilities of between $100 million and $500 million.

Moody’s said the company defaulted on its debt earlier this month. It said Synagro had a $290 million first-lien term loan due in April 2014 and a $150 million second-lien term loan due in October 2014.

Synagro was founded in 1986 and employs 800 in 34 states, according to its website.

The bankruptcy case is Synagro Technologies Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 13-11041

(Additional reporting by Gregory Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer and Leslie Adler)