Waste Industries' unusual merger with Alpine signals strategic expansion
- North Carolina-based Waste Industries announced it has finalized a merger with Denver-based Alpine Waste & Recycling. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Waste Industries CEO Ven Poole said in a statement the company was attracted to Alpine because it's a "very high quality company with a very familiar corporate culture" and it also prioritizes sustainability. "This merger represents a true win-win for all stakeholders," he said. Poole did not respond to Waste Dive's requests for comment in time for publication.
- This merger marks Waste Industries' first expansion outside of its East Coast footprint. The company currently operates in North Carolina (with headquarters in Raleigh), South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.
The news from Waste Industries may be unexpected, as the company isn't known for making acquisitions. This is the company's first significant deal since it announced a new ownership structure in August 2017, which enabled the company to better focus on its growth strategy.
It may also seem unusual considering the 1,600-mile distance between the companies' headquarters and Waste Industries' East Coast-only footprint. It's not often that waste companies will reach so far out of their existing territory into new markets for M&A opportunities. This deal has been likened to Houston-based WCA's acquisition of Live Earth in 2009, which pushed the company's footprint from the southern U.S. into the Boston area.
Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) CEO David Biderman told Waste Dive this deal demonstrates how companies interested in growth can look far outside their current footprints, as long as they integrate well-run companies into their operations. "This is no tuck-in acquisition. This is a strategic move by Waste Industries to put its flag in the western U.S. and I would not be surprised if there are new deals in the pipeline," he said.
Due to the current dealmaking environment, it appears likely the industry will see more significant M&A deals as 2018 progresses. Companies like Waste Management have taken advantage of the favorable economic conditions and corporate tax rate. During its Q1 earnings call, WM executives said M&A spending on "seven or eight" tuck-ins accounted for $248 million during the first quarter and there will be more to come.
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