RiverRidge Recycling in £10m equity cash injection from BGF

Pictured at RiverRidge Recycling’s facility at Duncrue Road in Belfast are Paddy Graham from BGF and Brett Ross, founder of RiverRidge

BELFAST-based waste management organisation RiverRidge Recycling has become only the second company in Northern Ireland to secure a major equity investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF), which provides capital to small and mid-sized businesses.

The company, which is the largest independent waste management operator in the north, treating 400,000 tonnes of waste each year on behalf of councils, businesses and individual households,has been given a £10 million cash injection from the BGF.

It says it will use the money to support its continued growth strategy as well as to further develop existing treatment and operations infrastructure, and it coincides with RiverRidge securing a separate funding package from its own bankers at Bank of Ireland.

The current owners of RiverRidge acquired a small skip hire and landfill site in 2011 and, led by managing director Brett Ross, it has grown organically and through acquisitions into a fully integrated waste management business employing more than 200 people.

It operates out of a number of sites located in Belfast, Coleraine, Derry and Portadown and was the primary developer of the £107m Full Circle Generation Energy from Waste facility located adjacent to Bombardier’s wing facility in Belfast.

Mr Ross said: “We have worked tremendously hard over the past five years to allow us to become the market leader in Northern Ireland. It is therefore a significant endorsement of this effort to be able to announce this investment by BGF.

"We are looking forward to further growing the RiverRidge Group in the coming years and believe we have found partners, in both BGF and Bank of Ireland, who not only are best placed to support this progression, but also understand the strategy thoroughly.”

Following the deal, Jim Meredith, current chairman of Augean Plc, one of the UK’s leading specialist hazardous waste management businesses, and former chief executive of Waste Recycling Group has co-invested alongside BGF and has been appointed by RiverRidge as non-exec chairman. Paddy Graham, an investor at BGF, will also join the board of the company.

BGF was set up in 2011 to provide a new type of funding option for small and mid-sized businesses, offering both an alternative and complementary source of money to bank debt.

It is now a minority partner in more than 140 companies, and it typically backs private and AIM-listed companies with revenues of between £5m and£100m across all sectors except financial services.

The other Northern Ireland company in which it invested last year is Derry-based housebuilder Braidwater.

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