Australia Watchdog Steps Up Waste Sector Scrutiny

Veolia and Suez are substantial players in the Australian waste market in stiff competition with ASX-listed rivals Cleanaway and Bingo. A private equity consortium led by CPE Capital has made a buyout proposal for Bingo pitched at AU$3.50 a share, which is being considered by an independent board committee of three directors at Bingo.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) scrutiny of the waste industry was already under way prior to the Bingo bid becoming public on Monday, January 18.

The ACCC has signalled it ”expects to commence an informal review in early 2021” of the local implications of the Veolia takeover bid for Suez. A commission spokesman said on Wednesday it was waiting on further information before it formally began the review. “We anticipate receiving this in the coming weeks,” he said.

Private equity groups Ardian and US-based Global Infrastructure Partners arrived on the scene in the past 48 hours with a similar buyout offer for Suez, pointing to the increasing focus on the industry by cashed-up private equity players in an era of ultra-low interest rates.

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