Quantafuel acquires 40% stake in Geminor Invest
Norway-headed plastic-to-liquids technology developer Quantafuel ASA has recently announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire 40 percent of compatriot Geminor Invest AS, the full owner of the waste aggregator and supplier Geminor AS (Geminor) for NOK 168 million (≈ EUR 16.2 million) to be settled in Quantafuel shares plus a cash element of approximately NOK 2 million (≈ EUR 192 840).
Geminor is a market leader in waste trading, logistics, and sorting, with offices in ten European markets. In 2020 Geminor delivered close to two million tonnes of various types of waste for recycling and energy recovery.
The agreed acquisition strengthens the plastic waste sourcing operations of Quantafuel, and will further contribute to a swift roll-out of Quantafuel’s Plastic-to-Liquid chemical recycling plants across Europe.
According to Quantafuel, the Geminor acquisition improves Quantafuel’s competitiveness further by facilitating access to plastic waste streams across different geographies.
It facilitates achieving the best possible price, fraction specifications, volume, and predictability, which contributes to both the Skive operations in Denmark and to the development of all the subsequent Quantafuel plants in new countries.
We are determined to maintain and strengthen our position as the global leader within the chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste and deliver millions of tonnes of recycled material to our strategic partners across Europe. Logistic, sorting, and handling are key to be able to deliver on these ambitions, and this investment is therefore set to become a key competitive advantage as we roll-out process capacity in large, industrial-scale, said Kjetil Bøhn, CEO of Quantafuel ASA.
SpareBank 1 Markets and Danske Bank, Norwegian Branch, have acted as transaction advisers, and Wikborg Rein has acted as legal advisor, to Quantafuel in connection with the acquisition.
Builds on existing cooperation
Plastic waste streams for recycling are to a large extent traded across borders. These cross-border flows are expected to increase further with the latest revision of the European Waste Directive (2018) banning landfilling as a means of plastic waste disposal, and with expected regulation for minimum targets for separation, sorting, and handling.
Quantafuel expects improved pricing of plastic waste from the Geminor transaction, and Geminor’s ability to source volumes is set to improve with access to chemical recycling delivery points.
With a proven track record of organic growth, Geminor is a market leader in Norway, a top-three player in the UK waste export market, and has 70 percent of the export volumes from Germany to Denmark.
The owners of Geminor Invest, CEO Kjetil Vikingstad, and COO Ralf Schöpwinkel, keep 60 percent of company shares. However, as part of the transaction, Quantafuel is also granted an option open until April 30, 2024, to acquire the remaining shares in Geminor Invest AS.
The international community has major challenges within waste management, especially when it comes to handling ever-increasing amounts of plastic waste. To meet these challenges the waste industry is becoming more industrialized, and new recycling solutions are currently being developed internationally. Geminor wants to be a key player in this process, something we hope to achieve with Quantafuel as a partner and co-owner, commented Arne Haldorsen, Chairman of the Board of Geminor Invest.
Develop new fractions
According to the agreement, all employees and current management will continue in Geminor. The head office will also remain at Karmøy in Norway, where Kjetil Vikingstad and Ralf Schöpwinkel will continue as CEO and COO, respectively.
With Quantafuel as a partner, we hope to achieve our goal of becoming a leading player in material recycling and energy recovery in Europe. In collaboration with Quantafuel we want to increase the proportion of plastic for material recycling, and by this actively contribute to a circular economy for plastics in Europe. Together, the companies form a value chain from the collection, sorting and treatment of plastic waste all the way to the process of chemical recycling. Plastic will now become more important for Geminor, but the company also has a clear strategy to develop fractions and streams within waste wood, RDF, SRF and paper, said Kjetil Vikingstad, CEO and co-owner Geminor.
A large proportion of Geminor’s turnover will still come from supplying waste-derived fuels for energy recovery.
At present we collect waste from 350 different waste producers and deliver fuel to over 180 different off-takers in Europe. We will continue to develop more sustainable waste fractions and at the same time extract more waste plastic for chemical recycling. A good combination of energy recovery and material recycling will be important in our strategy for further growth and development, ended Kjetil Vikingstad.