Novum Capital sells incinerator bottom ash processor C.C. Umwelt to Blue Phoenix Group

23 February 2021

On 9 February 2021, Novum Capital sold its portfolio company C.C. Umwelt to the Blue Phoenix Group, a slag recycling company based in Rotterdam (Netherlands). After a short bidding and evaluation phase, Novum Capital and Blue Phoenix agreed on the sale and transfer of C.C. Umwelt to the Blue Phoenix Group with retrospective effect from 30 November 2020.

Successful consolidation due to clear focus

C.C. Umwelt is one of Germany’s leading specialists for the disposal, reprocessing, and recycling of waste incineration slags, the disposal of flue gas cleaning mass (filter dust) from waste incineration plants, and the processing and disposal of special mineral waste. The company’s headquarters are located in Krefeld, with six more sites in Hagen, Würzburg, Schwandorf, Bleicherode/Sollstedt, Hamm, and Menteroda.

Novum Capital had acquired C.C. Umwelt at the beginning of 2018 from six non-profit and family foundations set up by the company's founder. Subsequently, Novum Capital successfully consolidated the company, in particular by focussing on the core business areas mentioned above. In addition, Novum Capital helped to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the company’s operations, making the company fit for the future.

Twelve million euros invested in technologies

The economic success of C.C. Umwelt in the recent past can, among other things, be attributed to the considerable investments in the processing facilities made by Novum Capital between 2018 and 2020: In total, twelve million euros were invested in the technical equipment at the four slag sites in Krefeld, Hagen, Würzburg, and Schwandorf. As a result, C.C. Umwelt now runs state-of-the-art facilities with maximum processing depth and throughput capacity for slag. These modernisation measures have made C.C. Umwelt a technology leader in the German circular economy.

Quantum leap with “Stratego” metal upgrading machinery

The most important technical advancement was implemented by C.C. Umwelt and Novum Capital in 2019. On 19 July 2019, C.C. Umwelt celebrated the unveiling of its in-house developed “Stratego” metal upgrading plant at its headquarters in Krefeld. The technology of this machinery is ground-breaking. It can be used to extract non-ferrous metals by type from the incineration slag of all of C.C.’s sites. Stratego separates light non-ferrous metals (mainly aluminium) from heavy non-ferrous metals (in particular: copper, gold, silver, platinum, and palladium). Prior to this, C.C. Umwelt had only been able to sell the metals as a mixture. C.C. Umwelt also offers the metal-refining capabilities of Stratego as a service to other companies.

State-of-the-art technologies at even more locations

The sale of C.C. Umwelt to the Blue Phoenix Group signifies one thing in particular: the merger of two leading technologies for non-ferrous metal refining – Blue Phoenix’s processing machinery and C.C. Umwelt’s Stratego plant. Customers can now benefit from long-term, reliable services that meet the highest technical standards.

The Blue Phoenix Group and C.C. Umwelt are planning to open further locations in Germany and Europe over the next five years.

The next step towards a successful future

Felix Homann, one of the partners at Novum Capital, says: “We would like to express our sincere thanks to the management team at C.C. Umwelt for the excellent cooperation over the last few years. We wish them all the best for the future. Together, we have achieved a lot of good, and we are very pleased that, with Blue Phoenix, we have found a strategic buyer that is an ideal fit for C.C. Umwelt. This transaction lays the foundation for the continued success of both companies.”

Dieter Kersting, CEO of C.C. Umwelt, adds: “The management team at C.C. Umwelt sees our new partner, Blue Phoenix, as a guarantor for the continuous development of C.C. We are confident that we will continue to pursue topics already addressed with Novum Capital, such as the continual improvement of end-of-waste technologies for slag processing. And, of course, our company’s expansion in Germany and Europe.”

Paul Knight, CEO of the Blue Phoenix Group, is also pleased with the transaction: “We see C.C. Umwelt as an ideal geographical addition to our portfolio of services. Together, our companies will continue to grow rapidly.”

Pan-European player in incinerator bottom ash processing

The Blue Phoenix Group was formed in 2015, when private equity investment group Waterland simultaneously acquired and merged the English company Ballast Phoenix and the Dutch company Inashco. Blue Phoenix employs a staff of more than 400. Following the merger with C.C. Umwelt, the group will now have over 500 employees and will be a leading player in Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands.

During the transaction process, Novum Capital was supported by GCA Altium, who acted as M&A advisor; by commercial law firm, Kümmerlein, regarding legal issues; and by tax consulting firms, Breidenbach and Taxess, regarding tax-related matters. On the seller’s side, the commercial due diligence was performed by the Boston Consulting Group; the environmental due diligence by ERM; and the financial due diligence by Ernst & Young. Insurance broker Marsh arranged the Warranty & Indemnity insurance from Acquinex. The transaction is subject to approval from the competition authorities.

Learn more about C.C. Umwelt here.

Learn more about the Blue Phoenix Group and Waterland here.

And this link takes you to the Novum Capital portfolio.

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