Weekly News Bulletin: Sep. 16-22, 2008


Waste Management Might Increase Offer for Republic

Evidence is mounting that Waste Management might increase its offer for Republic Services. The latest is the disclosure by billionaire Bill Gates' investment vehicle Cascade Investment LLC that it has bought more than 5.7 million Republic Services shares since the beginning of August, bringing his total stake to 32.9 million shares, or about 18.1% of the shares outstanding. He bought the shares for an average price of $34.11 each despite his public opposition to Waste Management's offer. A poison pill measure adopted by Republic to thwart Waste Management's offer allows Cascade and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase their combined stake to 20%. His exercise of that option could be interpreted as a defensive play to help vote against a Waste Management deal, or as a profit motive should an offer from Waste Management be accepted...Read More »



Fund Manager Urges Republic to Reconsider Waste Management's Offer

Hedge fund Elliott Associates LP made public a letter to Republic Services Inc. imploring the company's board to reconsider Waste Management's raised takeover offer of $6.73 billion. The fund which describes itself as a "meaningful" shareholder in the company, argued that the offer was more favorable to shareholders than the company's proposed acquisition of Allied Waste Industries initially valued at $6.24 billion...Read More »



Allied Waste CFO Says Deal with Republic on Track

Allied Waste Industries CFO Peter Hathaway told the group assembled at a Bank of America conference in San Francisco that the deal to merge with Republic Services is on track and that already seventeen teams of representatives of the two companies are working on the deal. He did not mention efforts by Waste Management to derail the deal by buying Republic. According to Hathaway, Allied officials have met with the U.S. Department of Justice to discuss potential divestitures, including routes and landfills in certain markets. He says the Allied-Republic deal is still expected to close in the fourth quarter...Read More »



Partnership to Build $227 Million Waste-to-Energy Plant in Indiana

Two companies, International Power Group Ltd. (Celebration, FL) and ForeverGreen Enterprises Inc. (Tinton Falls, NJ), have formed a joint venture to develop a $227 million 750 ton per day waste-to-energy facility in La Fontaine, IN. The plant which will convert waste into hydrogen, methanol and electricity will be located on a 60-acre site, is expected to take 22 months to complete. Once operational, it will be capable of handling industrial, chemical and medical wastes. International Power will be responsible for technical services, including engineering and project management. ForeverGreen Enterprises is a development stage company working to develop projects that convert waste into energy using its proprietary Progressive Molecular Dissociation system, a gasification process that uses molten media and plasma technologies. The two companies plan to collaborate on other waste-to-energy projects as well...Read More »



Waste Management Having Trouble with Milwaukee Teamsters

In its ongoing dispute with the Teamsters Local 200 in the Milwaukee, WI area, Waste Management gave what it termed its "last, best and final offer" regarding the pension assets of its drivers. The proposal spans five years, includes a first-year wage increase of 10% to 15%, and provides for a new pension plan to replace the existing Central States Pension Fund which the company alleges has been poorly managed. The union has offered an alternative it says is modeled along the lines of the pension fund the Teamsters have with UPS...Read More »



NSWMA Fights Ohio Counties' Rule to Ban Outside Waste

Attorneys for the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) are arguing before the 5th District Court of Appeals over a controversial rule by Stark, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties in Ohio to ban waste shipments from outside counties. Only counties that recycle as much or more than the three-county district would be allowed to use landfills there, including two of the largest in the state (one of which is Republic's Countywide Landfill). This means trouble for nearby Summit and Cuyahoga Counties which have less capacity and lower rates of recycling by virtue of their higher industrial mix. As a result, Summit and Cuyahoga counties filed briefs with the court supporting the NSWMA. The NSWMA attorneys argue that the provision is illegal because expired in 2006 when it was superseded by a new plan imposed at the state level by the Ohio EPA...Read More »



Connecticut Man Found Guilty Again in Waste Industry Corruption Probe

In what must be considered the most dangerous profession, a Connecticut man, Timothy Arciola, 37, was indicted by a federal grand jury for concocting a scheme to siphon customer payments away from businesses at the center of a federal probe into racketeering for their alleged ties to organized crime. The indictment says that Arciola, while a salesman in December 2007 for Automated Waste Disposal and Superior Waste Disposal, two Danbury waste hauling firms, convinced his employers to provide discounts to customers he had secretly solicited to his own company called Omni Management Group. Arciola was charged with three counts of mail fraud, punishable by up to 60 years in prison and fines totaling $750,000. If convicted, he could be sentenced to additional jail time for having committed the crimes while on release in another federal case...Read More »



Senators Unveil Package to Extend Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) have reintroduced renewable energy tax credits for wind, ethanol, and biomass that are estimated to top $40 billion. The measure includes tax incentives for carbon sequestration, plug-in hybrid vehicles, conservation, wind energy, solar energy, nuclear energy and biofuels. It would extend expiring provisions and create some new breaks as well, with the costs offset largely by higher taxes on the oil and gas industry. "Here we are again," said Sen. Baucus. "I'm starting to feel like Don Quixote, except I'm not jousting at windmills. I'm jousting for windmills." The bill could be added to either the "Gang of Sixteen" bipartisan energy bill or the House Democratic version if and when they reach the Senate floor for debate. Republicans are expected to continue to resist provisions of the bill that offset costs through higher taxes on oil and gas...Read More »



San Antonio Texas will Turn Sewage into Energy

The San Antonio (Texas) Water System (SAWS) will sell captured methane gas generated from the utility's treatment of 140,000 tons of biosolids, or sewage from citizens annually. The city-owned utility approved a contract to provide at least 900,000 cubic feet of natural gas daily for the next 20 years to Ameresco Inc., a Framingham, MA-based energy services company. "Treating these biosolids generates an average of 1.5 million cubic feet of gas a day," said Steve Clouse, the water system's chief operating officer. "That's enough gas to fill seven commercial blimps or 1,250 tanker trucks each day". The water system will receive up to $250,000 a year for the methane, which will be drawn from the utility's Dos Rios Water Recycling Center. Construction is expected to take 18 to 24 months. Other cities will likely follow suit if it is a success...Read More »



GreenMan Technologies to Sell Divisions for $26 Million

Tire recycling company GreenMan Technologies plans to sell two of its divisions in Minnesota and Iowa to Liberty Tire Services, LLC for $26 million. Calling it a strategic divestiture, GreenMan says it intends to use a portion of the proceeds pay down debt including that of its primary secured lender, Laurus Master Fund, Ltd. Once completed, the company will have minimal long-term debt and more than $5 million in cash focus on its two remaining and more profitable subsidiaries, Welch Products, Inc. and its newest subsidiary GreenMan Renewable Fuel and Alternative Energy, Inc. Welch Products, which makes products from recycled rubber, had revenue growth of 100% this past year...Read More »



Vermont's Second Biggest Landfill Will Convert Gas to Energy

Vermont's second largest landfill, Moretown Landfill, Inc. has broken ground on a landfill gas to energy project that will produce a total of 3.2 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 2,600 homes, about the size of nearby Waterbury, while avoiding the annual release of 21,600 tons of carbon dioxide into the environment. Green Mountain Power has committed to purchase the project's output for 15 years, at a fixed price. Vermont's largest landfill near the town of Coventry generates 6.4 megawatts of electricity that is sold to the Washington Electric Cooperative...Read More »



Blue Earth Solutions Raises $14.1 Million

Blue Earth Solutions, Inc. which has a proprietary polystyrene recycling system, said that it closed on a private placement of $14.1 million and that demand from investors made it oversubscribed. The company plans to use the proceeds to expand into new locations, purchase equipment and fund working capital. Its patented StyroSolve™ system allows for economical and environmentally friendly recycling of polystyrene into high quality reusable pellets...Read More »


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