Platinum in Talks to Buy Urbaser in $4.2 Billion Deal

U.S. private equity firm Platinum Equity is in exclusive talks to buy Urbaser SA in a deal that could value the Spanish waste management company at about 3.5 billion euros ($4.2 billion) including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

China Tianying Inc., Urbaser’s owner, has agreed to negotiate with the buyout firm led by billionaire Tom Gores to finalize the details of a transaction, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

Platinum has emerged as the preferred buyer for the asset after beating out other investment funds including Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, the people said. An agreement could still be a few weeks away, giving Platinum time to finish due diligence and financing arrangements, they said.

No final decision has been made and talks could still fall apart, the people said. Other bidders remain interested in the asset, they said. Representatives for China Tianying and Platinum Equity didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, while a representative for Stonepeak declined to comment.

Shares in China Tianying rose as much as 0.7% in early Wednesday trading in Shenzhen, giving the company a market value of about $1.6 billion.

A sale of Urbaser would follow an attempt last year by China Tianying to sell a minority stake in the Spanish company, Bloomberg News has reported. Urbaser provides services from street cleaning to maintaining green areas as well as managing domestic and industrial waste, according to its website.

Gores founded Los Angeles-based Platinum in 1995 and has an estimated net worth of about $5.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The firm has more than $25 billion of assets under management, according to its website.

An agreement to buy Urbaser would follow other recent Platinum acquisitions in Spain, including the purchase of a majority stake in frozen seafood company Grupo Iberica de Congelados SA, known as Iberconsa, for an undisclosed amount in 2019.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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