Montagu, GIP-backed Biffa taken over by lenders in debt for equity swap

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Biffa, the ailing UK waste services business backed by Montagu Private Equity and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), has been taken over by its lenders after failing to find a buyer.

Senior lenders Angelo Gordon, Avenue Capital Group, Babson Capital Europe and Sankaty Advisors have agreed to swap their debt for equity and make a £75m cash injection.

The company said the cash will be used to fund a new infrastructure programme to bolster its position as the UK’s second-biggest waste management company by sales.

Biffa’s total debt will be reduced from more than £1.1bn to about £520m through the deal, which is expected to close early next year.

Company CEO Ian Wakelin said, “We are delighted to announce this important milestone towards the financial recapitalisation reaching a successful conclusion.

“The recapitalisation will provide the company with significant new investment, bring long-term financial stability to Biffa, and provide an excellent platform to move forward as we grow and develop the business further.”

Earlier this year Biffa received a £520m cash offer from a consortium of investors comprising Clearbrook Capital, JP Morgan recycling specialist Chinook Urban Mining, it is understood.

But the sole offer was not considered good enough by the company.

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