Consolidation within the waste management and remediation industry has kept its pace over the last three years, with mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the U.S. valued at more than $1.26 trillion, according to MarketWatch. But this year is on track to be even busier, as strong public equity performance and favorable debt financing continues to drive M&A activity.
The industry’s “Big Three”, Waste Management, Inc., Republic Services and Waste Connections, Inc., are completing most of these mergers and acquisitions, but smaller companies are also entering the playing field and closing on valuable deals.
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After three consecutive years of annual M&A activity in the U.S. valued above $1.26 trillion, as reported by MarketWatch in January 2018, this year could be even busier, particularly for waste management and remediation, a $90 billion annual domestic revenue industry as measured by IBIS World.
Investment interest in the industry is driven by several factors, not the least of which is the impressive performance of publicly traded companies in the industry. Strong public equity performance and favorable debt financing has driven M&A valuation higher for waste and recycling companies.
Consolidation is a driver of industry mergers and acquisitions, as is typical in a fragmented industry, albeit one dominated by a “Big Three:” Waste Management, Inc. (WM), Republic Services, Inc. (Republic) and Waste Connections, Inc. (WCI). These companies bought private firms to fill in geographic service gaps or expand service offerings, particularly in the treatment and disposal of specialty wastes, hazardous and non-hazardous.