Red River Waste Solutions can officially proceed with its sale to a division of Colorado-based private equity firm Platform Capital, following approval by a federal bankruptcy judge on Friday.
Final agreements are still being worked out with certain creditors in a protracted bankruptcy process, but the majority of issues have been resolved and Platform Waste Solutions is on track to purchase the Texas-based hauler for an estimated $12.6 million. During a Friday hearing, an attorney for Platform said the transaction could potentially close by the end of July.
At least one other unspecified buyer expressed interest in acquiring some of Red River’s assets, and numerous other potential buyers were contacted, but the private equity firm had the most viable offer.
“Platform Waste Solutions emerged as the bidder with the highest and best offer on an overall basis for the assets at issue,” said Judge Edward Morris of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas. While “arguably, under the bid procedures there could have been a theoretical auction,” because bids were submitted by certain creditors, none of those parties would have outbid Platform’s offer.
Red River — which filed for bankruptcy last October, citing pandemic effects — has struggled to maintain service for multiple high-profile residential contracts in recent months and fallen behind on maintaining its fleet. Fort Wayne, Indiana, recently switched over to GFL Environmental as a result.
In Tennessee, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County ended up temporarily suspending recycling service and also brought in emergency contractors to help catch up. Under the proposed sale order, Red River will continue providing collection service to Nashville at its current rates through the end of August and negotiate a new contract moving forward.
Platform’s U.S. waste portfolio currently includes two smaller Illinois haulers. During the hearing, representatives said the firm has visited the majority of Red River’s operating sites, talked with customers and has an operating plan moving forward. Platform has declined to comment until after the sale closes.