Thursday 21 September 2017

Bord na Mona sale of €30m AES waste business stalls

Plans for pay-by-weight waste collection have shelved until 2016
Plans for pay-by-weight waste collection have shelved until 2016
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Talks on the sale of Bord na Mona's waste collection business AES have stalled.

Accounting firm Deloitte began talks with potential buyers for AES late last year on behalf of Bord na Mona. A number of domestic rivals, as well as Cerberus, the owner of Greenstar, expressed interest in buying it. But a sale is not being progressed, sources said.

AES, which collects bins for 100,000 homes in Leinster and Munster, is the last remaining publicly-owned waste collector. Almost all household waste collection has transferred to the private sector over the past 15 years. Rates have climbed steadily in that period.

The business was expected to sell for around €35 to €30m, significantly less than the €52m Bord na Mona paid for it in 2007. It has annual revenue of approximately €50m.

The semi-state recently appointed a new chief executive to AES. Until recently it was led by John Daly, who stepped down earlier this year to take a job with Covanta, working on its Poolbeg Incinerator development.

Declan Ryan has been appointed in his place. Ryan was previously the managing director of Enva Ireland, a hazardous waste disposal business owned by DCC.

AES was founded as Waste Recycling Ireland in 1996. Early investors included technology investor Bill McCabe, petrol station tycoon Shane Reihill and Frank Keane, who made his millions through operating the BMW franchise in Ireland.

It grew through a series of acquisitions and was renamed in 2001. It was purchased in 2007 by Bord na Mona.

Bord na Mona spokesperson Pat Sammon would not comment other than to say a strategic review of the business was ongoing, and had not yet been concluded. The review would be finished in August, he said. The Government has exempted Bord na Mona and AES, as its subsidiary, from Freedom of Information requests.

Bord na Mona has seen several major changes in strategy and leadership recently. Gabriel D'Arcy stepped down as the group's chief executive at the beginning of 2015 after seven years in the job. DCU graduate Mike Quinn was appointed in his place.

Quinn joined from US group Precision Castparts, where he worked for 10 years.

He is spearheading a major drive into wind energy at the semi-state. It plans to open a new windfarm every year until 2022.

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