BGF successfully exits waste management company RiverRidge

Our funding and support helped it to expand operations across Northern Ireland, develop state-of-the-art infrastructure, and build out a top-tier management team.

23 May 2023

Founded in 2011, RiverRidge started out as a small skip hire and landfill business and has since grown into Northern Ireland’s premier waste management, recycling and energy from waste company. Under the direction of CEO Brett Ross, the company now serves seven local authorities across the province and over 5,500 commercial clients, providing collection services and the treatment and disposal of over 400,000 tonnes of waste each year.

BGF partnered with RiverRidge in 2016, introducing experienced waste sector director Jim Meredith as non-executive chairman, to accelerate the growth of the business. BGF’s investment has helped the company to expand its operations across Northern Ireland (both organically and via acquisition), develop state-of-the-art recycling infrastructure, and build out the top tier management team.

Revenues have increased by 40% since 2016, and RiverRidge now employs 280 staff, across five sites in Belfast, Mallusk, Coleraine, Portadown and Derry/Londonderry. The company is also a minority stakeholder in Northern Ireland’s only energy from waste plant.

Cube Infrastructure Managers and Equitix Investment Management have jointly completed the acquisition of a majority stake in the business and now plan to pursue further growth, through delivering a pipeline of development opportunities, further improving treatment options in the Northern Irish market.

Graham Clarke, Investor at BGF, said: “It is fantastic to see RiverRidge attracting this significant investment to deliver the next phase of its ambitious growth plans. Over the past six years, we have developed a strong relationship with Brett and his team. It is therefore extremely pleasing that, following this investment, the company is well positioned for the next phase of its growth journey.”

“This is BGF’s second material exit in Northern Ireland in recent months, delivering another strong return of over 2x MM against BGF’s minority investment, and again underlines the quality of business and management teams that exist in the province. BGF is extremely proud to have played a part in supporting Brett and his team through a period of significant growth, and we wish them the best of luck as they continue to expand RiverRidge in Northern Ireland and beyond.”

Brett Ross, CEO, RiverRidge said: RiverRidge has grown from humble beginnings in 2011 to a company in 2023 which is at the forefront of waste treatment technology. We have been true to the vision and values of the group over this period and believe that today’s announcement is an endorsement of the hard work from our team as well as the strategy chosen to revolutionise the sector. BGF and Jim have been with us every step of the way during the past six years, and I’d like to thank them for their guidance and support during a period of significant growth.”

Saket Trivedi, Partner of Cube Infrastructure Managers, said: “The investment in RiverRidge Holdings represents a unique opportunity for Cube to acquire an essential infrastructure asset in a new geographic location, with the embedded opportunity to pivot towards the generation of renewable energy from waste. We are excited to be able to enter this journey with Equitix as our long-term partner, which will be instrumental in providing valuable expertise for the future growth of the company.”

Hugh Crossley, CEO of Equitix, added: “Equitix has known and had excellent collaboration with RiverRidge for near to 10 years. We have a huge respect for the management team and are very pleased to extend this relationship by acquiring a stake in the company. This also allows us to proudly increase our commitment and presence to Northern Ireland.

“With the RiverRidge management team and our partners, Cube, we expect to invest in and effectively grow the business over the coming years. This important investment aligns with our strategic vision of working in partnership to help reduce the impact of waste on climate change, avoid unnecessary landfill disposal, and provide sustainable energy to the communities which our assets serve.”

Cube and Equitix have been advised by Eversheds Sutherland and PwC, while RiverRidge Holdings Limited and BGF have been advised by Carson McDowell, A&L Goodbody and KPMG.

BGF has invested in seven companies from Northern Ireland to date: Braidwater, RiverRidge, Audit Comply, Uform, Bob & Berts, Mzuri Group and Clarke Group.

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