Warren Equity Partners, a lower middle market private equity fund based in Jacksonville, Florida, has closed on its acquisition of the solid waste subsidiaries of Meridian Waste Solutions Inc. The acquired entities comprise Meridian’s integrated, nonhazardous solid waste services business, primarily operating in Missouri and Virginia. The acquired business will continue to operate under the name Meridian Waste.
Meridian announced its execution of a definitive agreement to sell the equity interest of its wholly owned subsidiaries that house its Solid Waste Group to Warren Equity Partners Fund II in February of 2018. The company said at that time that it would receive approximately $87 million in debt assumption and $3 million in cash.
Meridian’s business historically had been comprised of its solid waste collection, transfer and disposal services. However, the company has shifted its focus to biomass and health care technology services, identifying several additional acquisition opportunities for value creation at rates that are disproportionately greater than the company’s solid waste business, the company said in its February announcement.
“Warren Equity has a successful track record of investing in infrastructure service companies,” says Steven Wacaster, managing partner at Warren Equity. “The acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for us to partner with management to build an industry leading waste services platform through optimization of Meridian Waste’s existing assets, as well as through bolt-on acquisitions and organic growth. We are excited to back a nimble, customer-focused company with a world-class leadership team.”
Walter “Wally” Hall will serve as CEO of Meridian Waste. Hall was one of three founding members of Advanced Disposal Services Inc. of Florida, which grew to become the fourth largest solid waste company in the U.S. under his operational leadership from 2000 to 2014. During his tenure with that company, Hall led and implemented more than 150 acquisitions, serviced more than 800 municipal contracts and grew operations to more than 3,000 collection vehicles, more than 40 landfills and a team of more than 5,000 waste professionals.
“We expect that our partnership with Warren Equity will be a growth catalyst for Meridian Waste,” Hall says. “The transaction gives us access to capital that will allow us to continue to deliver superior service to our customers, while also providing a springboard into new markets. I believe that, with this partnership, we can build a great company, and we have assembled a talented management team that can deliver on our potential.”
Meridian Waste currently services more than 130,000 commercial, industrial and residential customers in the two primary marketplaces of St. Louis and Richmond, Virginia. The company’s assets include a fleet of commercial, residential and roll-off trucks, two transfer stations, one recycling facility and three municipal solid waste landfills. The business will continue to focus on maximizing financial value and service delivery within these two markets while pursuing growth opportunities that expand and enhance the operational footprint of the company in other marketplaces, Warren Equity says in a news release regarding the purchase.
Henrik Dahlback, partner and COO of Warren Equity, says, “We have been impressed with the pedigree of Wally and the Meridian management team, as well as the hard work they have put into building the company. We look forward to many years of a successful partnership.”
The transaction is Warren Equity Partners’ ninth acquisition since its formation in mid-2015.