Formed in 1992 with the consolidation of 22 waste management business in the upper Midwest, Superior Services has joined the ranks of leading regional consolidators through more than 80 subsequent acquisitions in 12 states, including Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Today, the Milwaukee-based company's operations include 22 owned or operated landfills, 50 collection operations, 16 recycling facilities and 19 transfer stations serving more than 650,000 residential, commercial, municipal and industrial customers.
Superior's revenues reached $191.6 million during 1997, and current annualized revenues total just under $300 million.
The company's current rate of growth was sparked by a March 1996 initial public offering that raised $37.2 million and a follow-on offering in September 1997 that brought in an additional $117 million in capital.
Superior drew on these resources to acquire 26 companies in 1997. This year, the acquisition pace has increased, with 26 acquisitions being completed through September. Superior takes a traditional hub-and-spoke approach to evaluating acquisitions, identifying a hub disposal facility, building collection and transfer spokes around it, then filling in with tuck-ins. This strategy has enabled Superior to build a relatively high internalization rate of 68 percent.
"Tuck-ins are an important part of our strategy," says Peter Ruud, the company's vice president-administration and corporate secretary. "Tuck-ins enable us to follow through in a particular market by building margin improvements."