New Zealand waste management firm sold to Beijing Capital

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 March, 2014, 5:09am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 March, 2014, 7:05am

Beijing Capital will buy New Zealand's biggest waste management firm from Australia's Transpacific Industries for almost US$800 million, enabling the state-owned company to acquire technology that could help combat chronic pollution in the capital and beyond.

Demand for waste management is growing on the mainland as the central government launches a raft of measures to tackle environmental degradation, which has become a politically sensitive issue.

Transpacific's New Zealand waste business specialises in environmentally friendly landfill methods, odour management and hazardous waste handling.

Australia and New Zealand waste management companies were well placed to benefit from China's demand, analysts said, because they were experienced in landfill technologies and sustainable waste management because of government levies that encouraged such practices.

Sources said Beijing Capital, which is owned by the Beijing municipal government, was keen on tapping Transpacific's expertise, and had not bought the waste management unit for re-sale.

"The investment carries significant … mutual technical and commercial benefits," Beijing Capital chief executive and deputy chairman Wang Hao said.

The deal comes just over a year after Hong Kong's family-owned Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings bought Envirowaste, New Zealand's second largest waste management company behind Transpacific, for NZ$490 million (HK$3.2 billion).

The sale also advances Brisbane-based Transpacific's push to exit non-core businesses and focus on its Australian waste management operations. Transpacific can now refinance its debt and resume paying dividends, the company said in a statement, adding that it expected the sale to be completed in June.

Transpacific sold the unit for NZ$950 million. In August, Transpacific sold its commercial vehicles business to US-based Penske Automotive Group.