Consortium hoping to buy Biffa has new member

The US gasification specialist that is behind the development of a West Midlands shredder residue plant has joined a consortium that has made a public bid to purchase Biffa. Chinook Urban Mining that is a part of the Chinook Sciences group that is located in New Jersey has put together £520m to make an offer on Biffa along with its partner Clearbrook Capital the private equity company and US bank JP Morgan.

Details of the bid came out in the Guardian newspaper this week and even though Biffa’s owners have not yet confirmed the bid city sources have stated that the deal is real. Chinook Sciences started to build a recycling shredder plant back in June of 2012 in Oldbury as part of a venture with EMR the metal recycler.

The 350,000 tonne per year capacity facility will make use of the RODEC gasification process patented by Chinook. The facility will also make use of the recycling technology from Chinook to produce and recover recyclables and at the same time Chinook Sciences will work on developing a facility at the UK headquarters in Nottingham.

Biffa offers collection treatment, disposal services, and recycling across many different commercial and municipal sectors and is one of the most well known waste management companies located within the UK. Global Infrastructure Partners and Montagu both have 50% equity in the Biffa Group, but this piece of the ownership was reduced down to zero during last year and they have been under a great deal of pressure to pay back a million pounds in loans.

With that settled, the final decision over whether the company can be sold or not will now be left up to the creditors of the company. Throughout negotiations it was thought that some of the recycling activities of Biffa could be separately sold off with a very strong likelihood that the Redcar plant owned by Biffa would attract some interest from other plastic recyclers.