Waste Connections: Matches All 1998 Revenue in First Quarter of 1999

By acquiring 13 waste-related companies with an annual revenue of approximately $25 million, Waste Connections Inc., Roseville, Calif., has nearly matched its yearly revenue in 1998 with its first quarter revenues of 1999.

"We closed the whole year last year at about $65 million," says Ronald J. Mittelstaedt, president and CEO. "We were working on a lot of [these deals] in 1998 and they trickled over into 1999."

The transactions include collection companies in the Midwest and Northwest. They are: two companies in Kansas with approximate annual revenues of $400,000 each; four companies in Nebraska with approximately $2.1 million each in annual revenues; two Oregon companies with annual revenues of approximately $600,000 each; two companies in South Dakota with approximate annual revenues of $2.5 million each and three Utah companies with annual revenues of approximately $4.2 million each.

Acquiring the 13 companies improved Waste Connections' financial performance and helped ensure the 1-year-old company's long-term survival, Mittelstaedt says.

Waste Connections also completed a pending deal during the first 1999 quarter, buying Columbia Resource Corp. (CRC), Vancouver, Wash., and Finley Buttes Landfill, Morrow County, Ore.

The purchase of CRC and Finley Buttes means Waste Connections is now an integrated company, Mittelstaedt says.

"We have transportation and disposal where we previously just had collection," he says. "Not only did we add revenue, but we improved our ability to compete in that region."

In addition, Waste Connections increased its credit line from $120 million with seven banks to $225 million with 10 banks to fund future acquisitions, make capital improvements and finance other expenses.

Waste Connections, a regional solid waste services company, was founded in 1997 and went public in May 1998. It serves more than 300,000 industrial and residential customers.

Mittelstaedt expects to make an additional $50 million to $70 million in acquisitions this year.

"Once you're a public company, it takes a bit of time to get out and become better known, and find people willing to take your stock and raise your capital," he says. "It sort of all came together [with these purchases]."