Palisade completes Australian waste deal

The fund manager’s latest acquisition provides local private equity firm Ironbridge with its second realisation in the sector this year.

Palisade Investment Partners has completed its acquisition of Global Renewables (GRL), an Australian waste treatment company.

The Sydney-based infrastructure fund manager will take over GRL from local mid-market buyout firm Ironbridge Capital, which bought the business in 2010. No financial details were disclosed for the transaction.

Founded in 1999, GRL owns and operate the largest alternative waste treatment facility in the southern hemisphere. Located in Eastern Creek, west of Sydney, the $100 million plant employs 80 people and has a 25-year contract to process 220,000 tons of household waste a year.

GRL also developed the Lancashire Waste Partnerships’ household waste recycling project, one of the largest Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts awarded in the UK waste management industry. Two facilities – one in Farington, near Preston, and the other at Thornton, near Blackpool – have the capacity to treat over 300,000 yearly tons of municipal waste.

This project, which was tendered and financed by GRL under its previous ownership, is now being managed through a joint venture between UK developers Lend Lease and AMEC.

GRL will not be the only waste-related asset to join Palisade’s portfolio, which also includes DiCOM Alternate Waste Treatment, an Australia-based company that transforms household waste into compost. Palisade funded the construction of its 55,000-ton treatment facility in 2010, based on a technology it developed in conjunction with Western Australia-based AnaeCo.

GRL is also the second waste management company sold by Ironbridge this year, following its exit from New Zealand’s Envirowaste for NZ$501 million (€300 million; $409 million) last January.

Palisade is currently investing from its Diversified Infrastructure Fund (PDIF) and Regional Infrastructure Fund (PRIF), the two vehicles it manages. PDIF scouts for infrastructure assets primarily located in Australia and New Zealand – with up to 20 percent of the fund being invested globally – while PRIF targets regional and local projects within Palisade’s domestic market.

Last May, the firm teamed up with Canadian fund of funds Northleaf Capital Partners to pay $A228 million (€153 million; $208 million) for a 75 percent stake in the Waterloo wind farm, a 111-megawatt (MW) plant located near Clare, South Australia.