GFL Environmental Acquires WCA Waste for $1.2 billion

  • GFL Environmental Inc. (NYSE: GFL), the Vaughan, Ontario-based waste management services company, has acquired WCA Waste Corporation, a Houston, Texas-based solid waste management company, from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners for USD $1.212 billion
  • The acquisition is expected to extend GFL’s reach into new and adjacent markets and form a base to pursue synergistic tuck-in acquisition opportunities
  • The deal was financed using a private placement of USD $600 million in equity


Kleinfelder Group Acquires Garcia & Associates

  • The Kleinfelder Group, Inc., a San Diego-based engineering, design, construction management, construction materials inspection & testing, and environmental professional services firm backed by Wind Point Partners, has acquired Garcia & Associates, an environmental firm based in San Anselmo, California
  • The transaction is expected to provide integral environmental planning and permitting services to Kleinfelders’ West Division
  • The acquisition marks the second acquisition by Kleinfelder under the ownership of Wind Point Advisors


Valicor Environmental Services Acquires Water Depot

  • Valicor Environmental Services, the Monroe, Ohio-based provider of wastewater treatment services backed by Pritzker Private Capital, has acquired Water Depot, a wastewater treatment plant in Westminster, Maryland
  • The transaction is expected to enhance Valicor’s service offering within the Mid-Atlantic region
  • Valicor is owned by Pritzker Private Capital (PPC) and the acquisition marks the fifth under the ownership of PPC


Terracon Acquires Environmental Planning Group

  • Terracon, an Olathe, Kansas-based consulting engineering firm, has acquired Phoenix, Arizona-based Environmental Planning Group
  • Terracon is an employee-owned consulting engineering firm with more than 5,000 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 150 offices with services available in all 50 states
  • EPG offers interdisciplinary services including environmental planning and permitting, landscape architecture planning and design, biological and cultural resources, earth sciences, paleontology, public involvement, geographic information systems, and environmental mitigation and construction support

Public Market Observations1


Market Observations

Republic Services has been testing the Mack LR Electric, a battery-powered version of Mack’s best-selling and noisiest trash truck. With no engine rumble or barking brakes, the Mack LR Electric operates like a muted version of its diesel equivalent. The city of Los Angeles has announced it will transition its fleet of 1,100 trucks to electrics by 2035, and New York City has committed to a 100% electric fleet by 2040.

Electric Trash Trucks Are Coming Quietly to Your Town


Market Observations

Several changes to the tax code during the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt by large corporations across America. Key provisions include relaxation on limits to interest deductions, employee-retention tax credits, and reinstatement of net operating loss carrybacks for immediate tax refunds. Stericycle Inc. expects a $100 million tax refund from its 2018-2019 losses as a result.

Stericycle and Other Companies Reaping Billions of Tax Breaks to Ride Out Economic Slump


Market Observations

Veolia announced it has acquired a 29.9% stake in Suez SA at a price of USD $21.16 per share, paving the way for a takeover of the water-and-waste management rival. Veolia said it would guarantee job security for all of Suez’s employees in France but reiterated its intention for a full takeover. Veolia aims to file a voluntary public takeover bid for the remaining Suez share capital.

Veolia Takes 29.9% Stake in Suez, Plans Takeover


Market Observations

U.S. Ecology announced its Aerosol Recycling Technology (ART), a 100% sustainable solution for aerosol waste that produces recyclable metal, reusable alternative and liquid fuels, and is landfill free with zero emissions. The ART system completely captures and compresses remaining gas propellant into a recyclable liquid fuel for resale. The can byproducts are also converted into recyclable metal bricks.

U.S. Ecology Unveils State-of-the-Art Aerosol Recycling Technology


Market Observations

Intertek has hired Reckitt Benckiser’s Jonathan Timmis as its new finance chief to replace Ross McCluskey, who is transitioning to an operating role within the Company. Timmis plans to join Intertek on or just before April 1, 2021. The transition of McClusky to an operating role after more than two years as CFO was made with the board’s full support.

Intertek Hires Jonathan Timmis as new CFO


Market Observations

AECOM has integrated its design and consulting services businesses into one global organization as part of the company’s phased strategy. The new unit will be led by Lara Poloni, AECOM’s president. This initiative further simplifies the operating structure of the company and will enable greater connectivity and collaboration across the enterprise.

AECOM Restructures With Integration Of Design & Consulting Businesses


Market Observations

U.S. raw steel production for the week ending Oct. 3 was 1.5 million net tons, while the capability utilization rate was 66.6%, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. That compares with production of 1.8 million net tons for the week ending Oct. 3, 2019, when the capability utilization was 77.7%. Despite the increasing production, some sources believe the ferrous scrap market will move sideways rather than show signs of strength in October, pointing to good supply at yards and high inventory levels at mills.

US Steel Production Continues To Increase


Market Observations

Ecolab, Inc. recently attained product approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its peroxide multi-surface cleaner and disinfectant for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. This marks the first EPA-registered disinfectant that has been proven to be effective at killing the virus. The approval is expected to provide a significant boost to Ecolab’s industrial segment.

Ecolab Disinfectant Gets EPA Nod for Use Against SARS-CoV-2


Market Observations

Of the 150,000 public water systems in the U.S., 97% of them serve populations of 10,000 or fewer, the smallest of which only bring in a few thousand dollars of revenue each month. As rural water systems were largely left out of federal and state pandemic relief bills, they are especially vulnerable to economic distress due to non-collection of bills or in the event employees fall ill and require quarantine.

Strained Rural Water Utilities Buckle Under Pandemic Pressure

Public Valuation Multiples by Sector1


What We’re Reading

Companies Test a New Type of ESG Bond with Fewer Restrictions

  • Finance chiefs are selling a new type of bond designed to attract socially minded investors that costs less and offers more leeway for companies than other types of sustainable debt.
  • These instruments, known as sustainability-linked bonds, are similar to traditional debt sales—with one major exception: they are usually structured such that the issuing companies pay a higher interest rate to investors if they fail to achieve a set of environmental and other goals before the maturity date. These differ from green bonds in that the proceeds can be used for any purpose.
  • Luxury fashion brand Chanel, pharmaceutical company Novartis AG, and Brazilian paper maker Suzano SA all issued sustainability-linked bonds in September 2020. Italian utility Enel SpA was the first company to issue this type of debt last fall.


JPMorgan Pledges to Push Clients to Align with Paris Climate Agreement

  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. is pledging to use its financing weight to push clients to align with the Paris agreement and work toward global net-zero emissions by 2050. The bank said it would invest in technologies that help reduce carbon emissions and will work with clients to cut their own carbon footprints.
  • JPMorgan’s bankers and advisers hold considerable sway in boardrooms around the globe. The bank plans to argue to clients that combating climate change opens the door to more capital from investors and reduces their risk of becoming outdated.
  • The bank plans to measure its clients in new ways, including “carbon intensity” metrics that show emissions as a rate of output and that allow easier comparison.


Nikola Wins Order for 2,500 Electric Garbage Trucks from Republic Services

  • Nikola Corp. said Monday it secured an order for 2,500 electric garbage trucks from refuse giant Republic Services Inc.
  • The electric-vehicle company has for several years touted robust interest in the electric and fuel-cell trucks it plans to mass produce and sell. Electric and fuel-cell vehicles have long captivated the public’s imagination but have had little success without hefty government incentives.
  • Founded in 2014, Nikola has drawn comparisons to Tesla. In June, when Nikola went public via a reverse merger, investors quickly drove up its value amid broader enthusiasm about electric vehicles. Tesla’s recent string of profits and success expanding production have fueled that exuberance.


Scientists Sound Alarm on Plastic Pollution

  • In January 2018, China stopped accepting most plastic recyclables from Western nations. Within days, there was no hiding just how much plastic nations were producing and consuming. Piles of plastic sprang up in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and elsewhere.
  • Now a new study shows that despite global commitments to address plastic pollution, growth in plastic waste or “plastics emissions” continues to outpace reduction. What’s more, the study shows that even if governments around the world adhere to their ambitious commitments to curb plastic pollution, annual plastic emissions may increase more than sixfold by 2030.
  • This is the first global analysis of the magnitude of the plastic pollution problem or an analysis of the relative impact of interventions, like banning plastic bags and straws.


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Recent Publications

For more information, please see Harris Williams recent publication “Opportunities in Environmental Services,” which provides a detailed breakdown of the industry, recent trends, and market observations.


Harris Williams Overview

Global Advisory Platform

  • Founded in 1991
  • 350+ professionals across eight offices globally
  • 170+ closed transactions in the last 24 months
  • 10 dedicated industry groups


Environmental Services Focus Areas

  • Solid Waste Mgmt. & Recycling
  • Diversified Waste Mgmt. & Recycling
  • Hazardous Waste / Industrial Cleaning
  • Specialty Services
  • Testing & Analytical Services
  • Remediation, Consulting & Engineering
  • Resource Recovery & E-Waste
  • Water Equipment & Chemicals
  • Water Utilities & Services

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screen_shot_2020-10-26_at_2.11.58_pm.pngComprehensive provider of infrastructure and environmental testing, inspection & consulting services




screen_shot_2020-10-26_at_2.12.46_pm.pngIndustry-leading environmental, health, safety & quality software provider offering a unified SaaS platform




screen_shot_2020-10-26_at_2.13.17_pm.pngLargest vertically integrated provider of grease trap and related services




screen_shot_2020-10-26_at_2.13.53_pm.pngLeading provider of specialized cleaning solutions & wastewater treatment




screen_shot_2020-10-26_at_2.14.27_pm.pngMarket-leading provider of closed-loop total oil management solutions




screen_shot_2020-10-26_at_2.15.21_pm.pngNational provider of post-construction stormwater management services




screen_shot_2020-10-26_at_2.16.03_pm.pngNorth America’s largest provider of industrial cleaning and environmental services to the energy, industrial & utility end markets




screen_shot_2020-10-26_at_2.16.45_pm.pngLeading provider of contract cleaning & night sanitation services to the North American food industry




screen_shot_2020-10-26_at_2.17.25_pm.pngComprehensive provider of environmental consulting services across the globe, with a focus on intelligent solutions

1. CapIQ