The Rotterdam waste company AVR buys the Amsterdam waste processor AEB for 450 million euros. The municipality of Amsterdam, the former owner, reports this on Wednesday. Supervisory Authority for Consumers & Markets still has to approve the sale.
With the sale, the municipality of Amsterdam is solving a headache file that has been dragging on for years. The Amsterdam waste company ran into financial difficulties in the summer of 2019, after four of its six incinerators were closed for safety reasons.
That closure, a result of overdue maintenance, caused a nationwide waste crisis. It was also feared that the company would go bankrupt. In that case, the municipality of Amsterdam would have lost hundreds of millions of euros. The bankruptcy was averted thanks to emergency loans provided to Amsterdam by several banks.
The municipality of Amsterdam decided that same year, as the sole shareholder, that the company should come into private hands. However, the sales process was delayed due to the corona crisis. NRC previously revealed that the sluggish sale was also related to major disagreements among city officials.
Now AVR, itself owned by the Chinese investment company Cheung Kong, has bought the ailing company. The company was the highest bidder, according to the municipality of Amsterdam, among a number of other interested parties. From the proceeds, the municipality of Amsterdam mainly pays off debts from the waste company – including debts it has to the municipality itself. After that, a profit of about 60 million euros remains.
An important sale condition is that there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the acquisition in the next two years. The existing social plan will also remain in force until 1 July 2024. AEB, which is located in the Port of Amsterdam, employs a total of 320 people.
AVR was bought by Cheung Kong eight years ago for almost 1 billion euros. The Dutch market leader generates energy from waste, which is then supplied to the port of Rotterdam and district heating throughout the Netherlands. AEB is also a major generator of electricity.
Earlier this week, the conclusions of an investigation that the municipality of Amsterdam conducted into the state of affairs regarding the waste company also appeared. This showed that for years the municipality was too preoccupied with its own financial position, and not with the maintenance and condition of the waste incinerators. This eventually led to the partial closure of the company.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC in the morning of December 9, 2021
AVR buys ailing waste processor AEB
Source link AVR buys ailing waste processor AEB