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Viridor acquired by KKR for £4.2 billion

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Viridor has been acquired by leading global investment firm KKR for £4.2 billion (€4.6 billion) and announced plans for three new UK energy recovery facilities.

Phil Piddington, who has been managing director of the UK recycling and energy recovery infrastructure firm since 2016, will take on the role of CEO. Piddington 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 and processing infrastructure and energy recovery technology.

KKR’s head of European infrastructure Tara Courtney Davies said: “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. Wakelin, the former CEO of Biffa, said: “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.

“Viridor has a clear strategy based on market demand and a real understanding of the challenges and opportunities in this sector based on years of experience. I look forward to working with the Viridor management team over the coming years to deliver their vision for the company.”

Piddington added that Viridor would continue to advance its plans for future growth with infrastructure investments backed by long-term contracts. He added: “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 that produce low-carbon heat and power to 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.”