Support for recycler's expansion
BGF backs Keenan and installs Clark on board
BGF, which provides growth capital for small and mid-sized businesses, will take a minority equity stake.
Jim Clark, the founder of MSIS, an oil and gas waste management company, will join as chairman. Mel Keenan, a founder member and investor, will continue as a director.
Family-owned business, Keenan Recycling, which is headquartered in New Deer in Aberdeenshire, launched its commercial food waste collection service in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in 2010 and now processes more than 60,000 tonnes of waste each year, transforming it into British Standards Institute accredited compost.
The company, which has a 14-acre facility at New Deer, near Turriff, has won awards for recycling food, garden and other organic waste into compost for agricultural and horticultural use, reducing the need to use chemical fertilisers.
A base opened in Linlithgow in August and the company invested £700,000 in a fleet of six lorries to roll out its organic waste collection service to customers in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The investment from BGF will trigger further expansion in the Central Belt, where the firm is already collecting food waste from more than 600 clients and is on track to reach 1,000 businesses within the coming month.
Grant Keenan, managing director, said: “We’ve seen our number of clients more than triple from 600 to in excess of 2,000 since the Scottish Government introduced its waste regulations in January 2014, which means that all local councils have to collect food waste and all businesses that produce more than 50kg a week can’t send their leftover food to landfill sites.
“More than one million people already benefit from our services and so we’re excited to be able to bring the same opportunities to clients in the Central Belt too.
“This investment from BGF will allow us to speed up our expansion in the Central Belt and help even more customers to reduce the cost of dealing with their waste. With the support of our business development manager Claire Keenan, we’ve developed an experienced team and seen the business grow across the Central Belt in recent months allowing us to deliver our collection service throughout the whole of Scotland.”
Richard Pugh, investor at BGF, added: “We have tracked Keenan Recycling for several years and have been impressed by how they have built a highly successful business with consistent growth of more than 30 per cent per annum.
“The market backdrop continues to be supportive, with the Scottish Government committed to the tightest recycling targets in the UK, culminating in zero organic waste to landfill by 2021.
“The management team, led by Grant and Gregor Keenan have demonstrated that they can help local authorities and businesses meet these targets, with market leading levels of service.
“Now is the right time to invest as the business is expanding rapidly to meet demand in the Central Belt, and to prepare for further tightening of regulations in January 2016.”
BGF is already familiar with the waste sector having invested £7.5m in December 2014 in J&B Recycling, which has two facilities in Hartlepool and a waste transfer station in Middlesbrough.
Photo: Jim Clark and Grant Keenan