I Squared Capital to acquire controlling stake in SOILCO, a leading owner-operator of organic waste processing infrastructure in Australia, plans to invest up to $300 million towards growth
SINGAPORE and SYDNEY 7 October 2021
I Squared Capital, through its ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund III, has agreed to acquire a majority interest in SOILCO Pty. Ltd, a leader in the organics recycling industry in Australia from its shareholders and has committed a further $300 million to support the platform’s growth across the country. SOILCO has over 30 years of operational experience in waste processing from designing, building and operating facilities that help households and businesses reduce landfill use by transforming organic waste into high quality soil health products for agriculture and urban market applications such as turf, landscaping and gardening. This investment aligns well with Australia’s National Waste Policy Action Plan 2019, which seeks to halve the amount of organic waste placed in landfills by 2030, with a potential to divert approximately 2.7 million tons of organic waste every year.
“Our investment in SOILCO is the first step in building a state-of-the-art waste processing and recycling platform in Australia, which we believe will benefit from our global experience of building some of the leading companies across green and sustainable infrastructure in the water and waste management, renewable energy and energy transition sectors. This investment complements our existing portfolio of waste management infrastructure, which includes an anaerobic digestion plant in Ireland, an industrial-waste-to-energy plant in Taiwan and multiple wastewater treatment plants and landfill-gas-to-energy assets across China and North America, respectively,” said Gautam Bhandari, Managing Partner at I Squared Capital. “This is our second transaction in Australia following our investment in Clean Energy Fuels Australia, a platform of integrated energy solutions for remote mining customers.”
Charlie and Mark Emery, who have been with the company since 2001, will remain shareholders and continue in their existing management roles. The leadership team’s strategic plan has strengthened SOILCO’s presence in New South Wales, recently commissioning a high-tech composting facility in collaboration with the Tweed Shire Council and ramping up capacity to provide further organic waste processing services in the Wollongong area through a state-of-the-art facility in the Kembla Grange region. Charlie is also a Director and Board member of the Australian Organics Recycling Association and chair of the NSW committee.
“SOILCO is committed to the reduction of organic waste to landfills and continues to work to deliver the innovation needed in the organics recycling industry. We continue to emphasize technological sophistication, the delivery of efficient and seamless services for municipal councils in Australia, and the production of quality-assured products for customers,” stated Charlie Emery, Managing Director of SOILCO. “We are excited to work with I Squared Capital who will complement our efforts with their extensive experience and expertise in the waste management and resource recycling sectors in Asia Pacific. With the backing of I Squared Capital, SOILCO intends to grow its organics recycling business nationally.” Charlie added that “SOILCO founders Tony and Ria Emery have provided a fantastic platform for Mark and I. We feel this is a perfect way to cap off their personal business journey and the entire SOILCO team are enormously grateful to be able to continue to deliver their vision to improve Australian soils and regenerate our environment for dynamic growth.”
The transaction is currently pending, and its closure is subject to customary closing conditions such as regulatory approvals, including FIRB clearance, as well as consents under certain contracts held by SOILCO.
About I Squared Capital
I Squared Capital is an independent global infrastructure investment manager with over $30 billion in assets under management focusing on energy, utilities, digital infrastructure, transport and social infrastructure in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm has offices in Miami, Hong Kong, London, New Delhi, and Singapore.
SOILCO designs, builds and operates organics recycling facilities with processing capabilities new to the Australian composting industry. As an Australian home-grown business, SOILCO enables the circular economy by diverting valuable food, garden and wood waste away from landfills and manufacturing quality assured, regenerative soil health products. SOILCO’s network of customers and distributors seek to ensure there is an end market for these products to close the loop, enabling the company to process approximately 100,000 tonnes per annum of source separated organic waste. SOILCO’s head office is located at Kembla Grange (NSW, Australia) and the company currently employs 60 full time personnel.