A recycling and residual waste business is set to be acquired in a £4.2bn deal.
Viridor has operations across England, Wales and Scotland with a workforce of about 3,000 people and is headquartered in Taunton. It provides services to about 150 local authorities and major corporate clients as well as approximately 32,000 customers across the UK.
Listed parent company Pennon Group has entered into an agreement with Planets UK Bidco Ltd for the sale. Planets UK Bidco Ltd was established with funds advised by US private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) for the purpose of the deal.
“Following a detailed review of the group’s strategic options, we are pleased to announce the proposed sale of Viridor for an enterprise value of £4.2bn,” said Pennon chief executive Chris Loughlin.
“The transaction is great news for shareholders as it recognises the strategic value that Pennon has developed and nurtured in Viridor over many years and accelerates the realisation of that value for shareholders.
“On completion of the transaction, Pennon will continue to focus on its sector-leading water and wastewater businesses and will consider further growth opportunities that create value for customers, employees and shareholders.”
The sale is expected to be completed by the summer of 2020 and is conditional on approval from Pennon shareholders, merger control clearance from the European Commission and certain other conditions.
Pennon, which is headquartered in Exeter, intends to use the net cash proceeds to reduce its borrowings and make a return to shareholders, while retaining some funds for future opportunities.
Following completion, Pennon will be a UK-focused water infrastructure group, comprising South West Water and Pennon Water Services.
Barclays Bank, acting through its investment bank, and Morgan Stanley & Co International, are advising Pennon.