GFL Environmental Inc., Toronto, and Waste Industries, Raleigh, North Carolina, announced Oct. 10 that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018, is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Following its recapitalization completed in May, GFL is one of the largest environmental services companies in North America. Since its founding by the Poole family in 1970, Waste Industries has grown to become one of the biggest independent, vertically integrated solid waste management company in the southeastern United States. When combined with GFL's existing solid waste operations, GFL and Waste Industries will become the largest privately owned environmental services company in North America with operations in all Canadian provinces except Prince Edward Island and in 10 states. The combined company will operate 98 collection operations, 59 transfer stations, 29 material recovery facilities, 10 organics facilities and 47 landfills, and will have more than 8,850 employees. Patrick Dovigi, founder and CEO of GFL, will continue to be the president and CEO of the combined company.
"Waste Industries will more than double GFL's current footprint of operations in the United States, adding collection, transfer station, materials recovery and landfill operations in fast-growing United States markets (including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee, Virginia and others), growing our customer base and forming an extended platform from which GFL can continue to execute on our proven organic and acquisition growth strategy,” Dovigi says. “Waste Industries strongly complements GFL's brand with an over 47-year history of providing excellent customer service to its local communities and has a management team with a proven track record of harnessing technology, processes and systems to drive operating efficiencies. We are excited to welcome the management team and the more than 2,850 employees of Waste Industries to the GFL family."
"The continued evolution of Waste Industries takes another large step forward in this combination with GFL,” Ven Poole, chairman and CEO of Waste Industries, says. “These companies complement each other in multiple ways and the management teams share a similar culture oriented around exceptional customer service, operational excellence and our commitment to making a difference in the communities we serve. The combination with GFL provides a very bright future for our team, and the Poole family is proud to continue its investment through this combination with North America's true industry leader, GFL.”
Certain shareholders, including the Poole family and members of management, are contributing committed capital and are expected to become shareholders of GFL in connection with the transaction. Poole will also join GFL's board of directors upon closing of the transaction.
Scot French, partner at New York-based HPS Investment Partners, which led the current Waste Industries shareholder group, says, "I would like to thank the entire Waste Industries team for being great partners. We have a long history with GFL and we have full confidence in the opportunity for both companies together that lies ahead. We are excited to remain invested in supporting this remarkable growth story."
In anticipation of the closing, GFL also announced that Luke Pelosi has been appointed CFO to replace David Bacon. On the closing of the merger, Greg Yorston will take on the role of COO for all of GFL's solid waste operations in Canada and the United States. Additionally, Ven Poole will serve as a senior vice president of the combined company following the transaction.
Pelosi joined GFL in January 2015 as executive vice president, corporate development; added the role of interim CFO of GFL from February until May 2017; and has been GFL's COO since January. Yorston has over 30 years of solid waste industry experience and has been instrumental in continuing to drive operational efficiencies since he assumed the role of COO of Waste Industries in 2013, the company says.