Sweden-based EQT Infrastructure, a global investment organization, has acquired Covanta Holding Corp. in an effort to "accelerate the company’s journey towards becoming the most sustainable provider of waste disposal services."
Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders will receive $20.25 in cash per share of Covanta's common stock in a transaction valued at $5.3 billion, including the assumption of Covanta’s net debt obligations. The purchase price represents a 37 percent premium to Covanta’s unaffected share price of $14.86 on June 8, the day prior to initial media speculation on the transaction.
The acquisition is subject to Covanta shareholder approval, as well as customary government approvals, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
“We are pleased to announce this agreement with EQT,” says Michael Ranger, president and CEO of Covanta. “Our comprehensive analysis during the past nine months has been singularly focused on enhancing value for our shareholders. EQT certainly recognizes the value we see in our business, and this transaction represents an excellent outcome of our strategic review.
"Furthermore, as an organization dedicated to sustainability and environmental stewardship, EQT shares our vision for a safer, cleaner and more prosperous future through sustainable waste management, thereby ensuring no waste is ever wasted. We couldn’t ask for a better partner as we embark on this next phase of our company’s evolution, delivering on our goal of building a sustainable future for all stakeholders.”
Covanta is currently the world’s leading waste-to-energy provider, operating facilities in North America, Europe and the U.K. Annually, Covanta’s 40 plus facilities process approximately 21 million tons of waste from municipalities and businesses and convert it into renewable electricity to power over 1 million homes.
Following the completion of the acquisition, EQT says it will work with Covanta’s management team to build upon the company’s strengths, such as its portfolio of assets that provide essential waste services to municipalities and commercial customers, its long-term community relationships and its numerous growth opportunities, including a robust U.K. project pipeline of new waste-to-energy infrastructure and Covanta’s Environmental Solutions platform.
Covanta will maintain its corporate headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, and its management team is expected to remain in place.
“EQT and Covanta are proven business leaders who share a like-minded approach to environmental stewardship, and this acquisition aligns directly with EQT’s thematic approach of investing in sustainable businesses that have a positive impact on society,” says Alex Darden, partner within EQT Infrastructure’s Advisory Team. “EQT is excited to partner with the entire Covanta team and to invest in organizational, operational, and digital technology initiatives that will enhance Covanta’s ability to provide sustainable solutions to growing waste challenges. As a responsible investor, EQT is committed to working with Covanta on transforming and supporting the energy transition and circular economy across its local communities.”
Barclays served as lead financial advisor to EQT Infrastructure, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel in connection with the transaction. Credit Suisse and TD Securities also served as financial advisors to EQT Infrastructure.