Clairvest has had a busy start to 2020. After formally announcing the completed sale of Clifton Park, New York-based County Waste of Virginia to Ontario, Canada-based GFL Environmental Inc. Jan. 2, the private equity management firm announced Jan. 20 that it led a $32 million minority growth equity financing in DTG Recycle, Mill Creek, Washington, in partnership with existing shareholders.
Adrian Pasricha, a partner at Clairvest, spoke with Waste Today about the DTG transaction and the company’s growing presence in the waste sector.
Waste Today (WT): Can you give some background on the DTG deal?
Adrian Pasricha (AP): In fall 2018, Mike Castellarin, Clairvest managing director and co-head of our Environmental Services domain team, met DTG CEO Tom Vaughn at the Waste Today Capital Markets Conference. Mike described Clairvest’s approach and track record of backing entrepreneurial teams in high-growth strategies and it resonated immediately with Tom and DTG’s President and Founder Dan Guimont as they were looking to bring on a financial partner to support the company’s business plan.
WT: Why was now the right time for the investment?
AP: Since its founding in 2014, DTG has had tremendous success growing operations and extending market reach. When we met the team at DTG, they were pursuing several acquisition targets, including a highly strategic landfill operation, ramping up several new facilities and launching several strategic initiatives. Given the multiple projects in front of them, DTG’s principals felt it was the right time to bring on a partner to provide the necessary growth capital to support their initiatives. We are partnering with DTG at a key inflection point for the company, and we want to help them build and transform into one of the leading sustainability-focused waste management companies in the Pacific Northwest.
WT: Why did DTG present an attractive opportunity for Clairvest?
AP: As with all Clairvest partnerships, we seek to back in-place owner operators who are meaningfully invested in the business alongside us. In fact, we often seek to be in a minority position, something we were able to obtain in our new partnership in DTG (and this also very much appealed to the company’s principal owner, Dan Guimont). In addition, Clairvest’s team has been impressed with DTG’s ability to deliver sustainable waste solutions to customers at attractive creation values. The company also has a strong track record of developing new markets for recycled products and implementing innovative sorting techniques. We see an opportunity to harness the company’s success to date and grow market share by constructing new recycling locations and making acquisitions. We also see an opportunity for DTG to expand into other western market areas.
WT: Can you share anything relative to DTG’s management, your team’s engagement with them, and what makes them good partners?
AP: DTG’s leadership team has shown true commitment over many years to providing top-notch customer service. They used the due diligence period to both educate us on their business as well as glean insights from Clairvest’s 15 years’ experience of investing in the environmental sector. Ultimately, our teams connected over a shared vision of growth and innovation for the company.
WT: What has Clairvest learned over its 15-year investment history in the environmental services sector that it can bring to the table in this agreement?
AP: We feel that our understanding of the international environmental landscape, our views on how investors perceive different parts of the waste and recycling value chain, and our experience backing multiple high-growth stories in the sector can guide what avenues DTG should prioritize in its growth mission. In addition, we can bring experts and resources to the company to accelerate the process and execute the plan effectively.