Evergreen Plastics Inc. is continuing a rapid expansion, creating one of the largest food-grade PET recyclers in the United States.
Thanks to another two acquisitions, the company now figures to be one of the three biggest producers in the United States with a total of four facilities and an appetite for even more growth.
Evergreen, owned by private equity firm Sterling Group LP of Houston, revealed Feb. 9 the company purchased UltrePET of Albany, N.Y., and Novapet of Amherst, Nova Scotia, from wTe Corp. and Tomra of North America Inc.
They join existing locations in Riverside, Calif., and Clyde, Ohio.
Evergreen has now spent about $200 million during the past year or so to quickly rise to the top of the U.S. recycled PET market through a series of moves, including spending "just north" of $22 million for UltrePET and Novapet, CEO Omar Abuaita said in a Feb. 9 interview.
"We're constantly out looking for both organic opportunities to grow internally as well as through acquisitions. This opportunity presented itself, phenomenal location, Northeast, which we were lacking," he said.
Evergreen approached owners wTe Corp. and Tomra last summer about a potential transaction, struck a deal in September and closed in November.
Tomra had a 49 percent share of the two PET recycling sites with wTe Corp. holding the other 51 percent. Tomra has indicated its share of the proceeds was approximately $11 million and profit was approximately $5 million.
Tomra of North America is a unit of Tomra Systems ASA of Asker, Norway, which is known in the plastics industry for its reverse vending machines and resin sorting technology. And that portion of the business is an important consideration in the deal for both sides.
Evergreen has reached a long-term supply agreement with Tomra, which will direct PET bottles to the recycling facility through a network of reverse vending machines used in New York, Abuaita said.
The Nova Scotia site also is important as that location provides a secure supply of baled PET into Evergreen's recycling system. "That's fairly critical in today's [recycled PET] world; security of supply of bales is absolutely paramount to the future. That was just the icing on the cake. It made for a great acquisition," he said.