Recycler Eco Plastics has been bought by Aurelius AG, a Grünwald, Germany-headquartered investment firm, for an undisclosed sum.
The deal will see Aurelius become the full owner of the Continuum recycling joint venture established with Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) two years ago. Hemswell, England-based Eco Plastics also will continue to supply recycled PET to CCE as part of an existing long-term contract.
Aurelius describes itself as a mid-market pan-European investor with interests in industrial, chemicals, business services and consumer sectors.
Among its investments are SSL Healthcare Italia SpA, owner of the Scholl Footwear brand, and Blaupunkt Group, well known for its in-car entertainment systems.
Aurelius' London managing director Tristan Nagler, his company was delighted to have bought Eco Plastics.
“For customers, suppliers and partners it will be business as usual, and we are committed to working with the company to deliver long term, sustainable growth.
“Aurelius has a strong track record in the industrials sector, providing both operational improvement as well as financial support to businesses. We are extremely excited about the future prospects of this business.”
Eco Plastics' founder and deputy chairman Jonathan Short, said the deal was a vote of confidence not just in the future of Eco Plastics, “but in the promising future of the U.K.'s fast growing recycling sector. Working with Aurelius will take the Eco Plastics story to the next level.”
Short said the company's new owner would bring in new expertise and financial resources and “a shared commitment to the development of a more sustainable, circular economy in the U.K”.
Eco Plastics posted a pre-tax loss of £4.9 million in 2013, on sales of £47.3 million.
In 2012 the losses amounted to £5.8 million on sales of £38.5 million.
In a statement CCE said: “We are pleased that Eco Plastics has found a buyer to support the next stage in the development of the U.K.'s most important supplier of food-grade recycled PET.
“As part of the financial agreement, Coca-Cola Enterprises has agreed not to continue with the joint venture, Continuum Recycling. In return, CCE has entered into a long-term agreement to source recycled PET from Eco Plastics.
“This new arrangement will ensure that CCE continues to use a minimum of 25 percent [recycled] PET in our plastic bottles in Great Britain, allowing us to deliver on our commitments to set the standard for sustainable packaging.”