Biffa set to slash debts by half through refinance deal

Biffa has announced a refinancing plan that will see the business undergo a significant restructuring process to reduce over half of its £1.1bn debt.

The waste firm has secured a cash injection of £75m from the majority of its lenders to fund the restructure, which is hoped will recapitalise and strengthen the company.

The proposed restructuring transaction, backed by funds from “new shareholders” Angelo Gordon & Co, Avenue Capital Group, Babson Capital Europe and Sankaty Advisors, will see Biffa’s total debt reduced by approximately 55% to £520m.

Most of the capital will be used to fund a new infrastructure programme designed to reinforce Biffa’s position as a “leading force in collection, recycling and technologically-led waste recovery” according to a company statement released today,

Following implementation of the proposal, which is expected to conclude in early 2013, the new shareholders will become majority shareholders in Biffa.

Commenting on the deal, Biffa CEO Ian Wakelin said: “We are delighted to announce this important milestone towards the financial recapitalisation reaching a successful conclusion.

“The recapitalisation will provide the company with significant new investment, bring long-term financial stability to Biffa, and provide an excellent platform to move forward as we grow and develop the business further.”

On the infrastructure front, Biffa has just invested £250,000 on a major renovation of its Wednesbury hazardous waste treatment plant in the West Midlands.

The project was undertaken to raise environmental standards at the site. Work has resulted in almost zero manual handling, waste segregation and improved odour control.

Maxine Perella

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