Investors are increasingly placing their funds in large waste recycling operations. Last month, it was Kleiner Perkins and Index Ventures investing $34.5 million in 5-year-old scrap tire recycling company Lehigh Technologies. This morning, Virgin Green Fund and Masdar Clean Tech Fund say they have completed the buy-out of DuraTherm, a company in Texas City, Texas, that recycles waste from petroleum and petrochemical industries. Masdar and Virgin didn’t release much on the financials of the deal, but the firms say it was an asset acquisition and also included debt from HSH Nordbank AG. Back in June the Financial Times reported that Virgin Green Fund was close to closing this deal, “worth more than $40 million.”
DuraTherm collects, cleans and recycles waste-stream petroleum byproducts like oil-contaminated soil, used catalysts and oil-covered drill cuttings. The company says its recycling services are far more eco-friendly than the traditional method: incinerating that waste and sending it to a landfill. The company can treat the waste at its plant or use mobile recycling units that can be installed closer to refineries.
We talked with Index Venture’s Neil Rimer last week about the firm’s investment in Lehigh Technologies, and he noted that the firm really liked a few key aspects of Lehigh: existing revenue, a mature technology, and something that can be scaled up to a very large size.) All in addition to the environmental feel-good aspect, of course.) Masdar and Virgin likely saw similar features of the DuraTherm deal.
Masdar and Virgin’s investment can help scale up the mobile units as well as improve the central facility. Along with the buy-out, the company also says it has a new CEO, Kevin Trant, previously EVP of the Services and Products Group of Siemens Water Technologies.