The European Commission's Competition Directorate has raised no objections to the planned takeover of Dutch waste management companies Attero by the financial investor Ardian. The Commission published its decision, the result of a simplified merger control procedure, on 22 September.
Attero's current owners, financial investors 3i Infrastructure and DWS, announced the sale of the waste management specialist to the French company Ardian in July. At the time, 3i put the expected net proceeds from the sale at around €215m and said the transaction was expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Attero generated annual revenues of approximately €340m in 2022, according to its own figures. The company operates waste incineration plants in Moerdijk and Wijster with a combined capacity of up to 1.8 million tonnes per year. In addition, the company owns waste sorting and pre-treatment plants, biogas plants, composting plants and landfills as well as a recycling facility for plastic waste. In total, Attero treated about 3.5 million tonnes of waste last year.
Start of construction for solar park in Wijster
On the same day the pending merger was cleared by the Brussels competition watchdog, Attero announced the official start of construction for the solar park it is building on the south-west side of the former landfill site in Wijster. With more than 56,000 modules over 35 hectares, the facility is to generate 31 MW of electricity and supply almost 10,000 households with renewable energy, Attero announced.
"This project is perfectly aligned with our philosophy on developing landfills," said CEO Paul Ganzeboom. The waste management company is realising the project together with GroenLeven. Neither project partner has made any of the financial details of the investment public.
The resurfaced landfill in Wijster is also known as "VAM Mountain" (VAM-Berg), the new name having been derived from the acronym for the former landfill operator Vuil Afvoer Maatschappij. With height of 48 metres above sea level when the restoration was completed, the landfill is the highest point in the otherwise flat region of Drenthe, which is why several road cycling and mountain biking paths were laid out on part of the site in 2018.
For the European Road Cycling Championships, which was held in the region from 20 to 24 September 2023, another hill was added to the site, which is also known as the "Col du VAM". The new "Dak van Drenthe" (Roof of Drenthe) reaches a height of more than 60 metres above sea level. The cycling track on it will be opened to the public in the coming spring.