Jamie Gray is a business reporter for the New Zealand Herald and NZME. news service.

Ironbridge puts Envirowaste on the block

Private equity company Ironbridge is putting its EnviroWaste company up for sale. File photo / NZ Herald
Private equity company Ironbridge is putting its EnviroWaste company up for sale. File photo / NZ Herald

Macquarie Capital has been appointed to explore sale options for Ironbridge Capital's New Zealand waste management company, EnviroWaste, a spokesman for Ironbridge said today.

Ironbridge has asked Macquarie to consider either a trade sale or an initial public offering.

It was a three-horse rate between investment banks Macquarie, First NZ and UBS as to who would advise Ironbridge on the sale.

A financial market source said Ironbridge - a Sydney-based private equity investment company - was looking at transaction value of between $500 million and $600m.

Ironbridge is more likely to lean towards a trade sale than an IPO because local institutions have in the past shown a reluctance to pay a full price for similar assets, the source said.

Macquarie has worked with Ironbridge regularly over the past few years.

EnviroWaste is chaired by Kim Ellis, the former chief executive NZX-listed Waste Management before the company was taken over in 2006 by Australia's Transpacific Holdings.

Ironbridge originally paid $365 million in December 2006 for EnviroWaste but the company later sold an asset in Canterbury to its competitor, Transpacific.

EnviroWaste later invested in some bolt-on acquisitions which took the invested amount back up to around $365 million.

Unlike last year's IPOs, which involved only partial sell-downs and listings of companies such as Summerset Holdings and Trade Me, Ironbridge could be looking at offloading the entire 100 per cent, a financial market source told APNZ last month.

EnviroWaste's assets include the Hampton Downs landfill.

Fund managers said investors generally had a good investment experience with Waste Management before Transpacific paid a huge premium to take it over in 2006.


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