North East family business sells out to national chain

The business has recycling centres in Sunderland, Hartlepool and Newcastle. Image by Google Maps.
The business has recycling centres in Sunderland, Hartlepool and Newcastle. Image by Google Maps.
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An award-winning South Tyneside family business has been sold to a national firm.

O’Brien Waste Recycling Solutions has announced that the business has been sold to Biffa Waste Services.

The company’s 190 employees have been told that there are no immediate plans for changes to the workforce as a result of the deal.

The business – which has sponsored the likes of Sunderland AFC and South Shields FC – has recycling centres in Sunderland, Hartlepool and Newcastle, and has won recognition for its success over recent years.

It was recently awarded the North East business service delivery award for 2017, and generated annual revenues of £34.4million for the last financial year.

Nathan O’Brien, managing director of O’Brien Waste Recycling Solutions, said: “O’Brien WRS’ wide range of recycling solutions serve both commercial and local authority customers and have driven continuous, successful growth.

“The opportunity to join Biffa was a natural choice for our business due to Biffa’s scale, UK-wide network and complementary capabilities.

“Being part of a bigger group creates many exciting opportunities for the combined businesses.

“I want to thank each and every one of our staff for their attitude, commitment, and the energy they bring to the business every day.

“I am proud of what we have achieved.

“I have said this many times before: every single person matters in this business, every single day.

“I would also like to personally thank all of our customers for their past and future support.

“The management team at O’Brien and Biffa Waste Services will be working hard to bring the best of the two businesses together and to maintain excellent levels of service.”

O’Brien’s existing materials recovery facility build in Hartlepool is partly complete, and will now be finished by Biffa.

The two businesses will have a number of collection depots and recycling facilities across the North East, but there are no plans to change the way they operate.

KPMG’s Corporate Finance practice in Newcastle advised the shareholders of O’Brien on the sale.

Rod Wilkinson, who leads the team, said: “This is a significant M&A transaction for the North East given the high profile of O’Brien.

“The waste sector is in the midst of a period of consolidation and this is the latest and largest deal in recent months involving privately owned businesses in the region.”

Philip Clare, corporate partner at Muckle, who provided legal advice to the shareholders, said: “It has been great to work with Nathan and the O’Brien Waste Recycling Solutions team on this deal.

“It has been fantastic to support the growth of this key regional business over the last few years and I am looking forward to seeing the business develop under Biffa’s ownership.”