Sanlam Private Equity acquires interest in SkipWaste

17th January 2023 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

Asset management business Sanlam Private Equity (SPE) has acquired a controlling stake in SkipWaste, a provider of integrated waste management solutions to commercial, industrial and retail clients, primarily in Gauteng.

As a business that neither owns nor operates landfill sites, SkipWaste is said to be a strong fit for SPE, with the firm noting its sustainability-led commitment.

SkipWaste leverages its market share in waste logistics to drive and offer environmentally conscious waste management solutions to its clients, through waste diversion from landfill disposal towards recovery, recycling and alternative disposal.

SPE, a division of Sanlam Investments, made the acquisition through its new private equity fund, SPE Mid-Market Fund, one of three impact-focused funds in the Sanlam Investors’ Legacy Range launched in 2020 to create and preserve 27 000 jobs, while still delivering value for investors.

SkipWaste becomes the fourth acquisition in the fund, following that of Cavalier Group, Absolute Pets and Q Link, announced in May last year.

SPE investment associate Gift Pule says the waste management industry in South Africa has seen a lot of private equity activity from local and global players, which he posits is positive for the economy and the environment.

“Besides its long track record, strong market share in waste logistics and experienced management, SkipWaste was particularly attractive to us as it neither owns nor operates landfill sites and it has a strategic focus on diverting waste towards alternative and more sustainable forms of waste disposal.”

He says business is now poised for growth and diversification through diversion of various organic, food and construction waste from more clients seeking “greener” waste management solutions and increased contribution to the circular economy through recycling and conversion.

SkipWaste has been family-owned and run since inception in 1984. It operates out of three strategically located depots across Gauteng several transfer stations and a 13 ha waste treatment facility in Springfield, south of the Johannesburg central business district.

SkipWaste has an integrated business model, spanning onsite waste management, primary storage, waste logistics, recycling and recovery as well as alternative disposal and conversion. With more than 1 000 clients and 3 000 sites primarily in Gauteng, SkipWaste is indicated to be well-positioned to sustain its access to waste-at-source and the company’s ability to redirect more waste towards alternative forms of disposal.

It is estimated that South Africa generates about 108-million tonnes of waste a year, 90% of which still goes to landfills.

“We were attracted to SkipWaste by its uniqueness in the waste management sector and we are excited to partner with the management team of the business. Coupled with the need for sustainable waste management practices and recent legislative changes to reduce landfill disposal, we are looking forward to supporting its waste diversion and diversification strategy in its next growth phase.

“SkipWaste is labour-intensive and we expect that it will continue to grow its current staff complement of 454 employees – this aligns strongly with our impact objectives around job preservation and growth. Overall, youth accounts for over 75% of the staff, which is majority black and from historically disadvantaged backgrounds,” SPE managing partner Paul Moeketsi says.

SkipWaste was exclusively advised by Novitas Capital Advisors.