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Wayne Huizenga Returns to Waste Industry

Swisher Hygiene, whose chairman is legendary waste industry figure H. Wayne Huizenga, has agreed to buy Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Choice Environmental Services.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Swisher Hygiene, whose chairman is legendary waste industry figure H. Wayne Huizenga, has reached an agreement to acquire Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Choice Environmental Services. Swisher will issue 9.2 million shares of common stock valued at $50.1 million to Choice Environmental shareholders. The transaction is slated to close before the end of March.

Choice Environmental provides waste services to more than 150,000 residential customers and 7,500 commercial customers in southern and central Florida. Swisher provides cleaning products and services for commercial properties.

“Choice Environmental has strong recurring revenue streams — many of which are generated from exclusive municipal contracts — at attractive operating margins, a good mix of services that will provide synergies and cross-selling opportunities for our commercial customers and broaden our hygiene and sanitation offering,” said Steven R. Berrard, CEO of Swisher Hygiene.

“We are excited at the abundant opportunities that will be presented by becoming a part of Swisher Hygiene … ,” said Glen Miller, chairman and CEO of Choice Environmental. “With the infrastructure already put into place by Wayne Huizenga and Steve Berrard, we foresee significant opportunities for organic and acquisition-related growth.”

Huizenga co-founded Waste Management and also has served as chairman of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Republic Services. Another member of Swisher’s board — Harris W. Hudson — has been an executive at Waste Management and Republic Services. Hudson is a brother-in-law of Huizenga.

In other transaction news:

WCA Waste completed its purchase of one transfer station and three central Florida collection operations from Emerald Waste Services. The collection operations contain 220 employees and encompass nearly 120 residential, commercial and roll-off routes in the Gainesville, Orange City and Daytona Beach markets. The acquired assets generate a total of about $30 million in annual revenue, according to WCA Waste.

“We are excited about the acquisition and the opportunities for growth in these market areas,” said Tom J. Fatjo Jr., chairman and CEO of WCA Waste, in a press release. “We remain focused on growing WCA by acquiring tuck-in operations in our existing markets, and acquiring companies in new markets. We are actively pursuing other acquisition candidates and hope to announce additional transactions in the near future.”

• Cincinnati-based Rumpke Consolidated Cos. has purchased Cleveland-based Landmark Disposal. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition includes roughly 30 waste collection vehicles and 40 employees.

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