Prezero, the waste management subsidiary of Germany’s Schwarz Group, tripled its turnover in 2021 to €2.1bn, according to recently published figures. Schwarz Group, which also owns the supermarket chains Lidl and Kaufland, attributed Prezero’s enormous growth last year to the completion of its acquisitions of certain assets divested by French environmental services group Suez as well as parts of the Ferrovial group in Spain and Portugal.
Prezero announced its acquisition of the waste management firm Cespa from Ferrovial for slightly more than €1.1bn in July 2021. However, the transaction only closed towards the end of 2021, so the revenue contributions from the waste management activities in Spain and Portugal were probably reported on a pro rata basis for 2021. The full-year consolidation of the Cespa operations and of the Suez assets acquired earlier in the same year was forecast to raise Prezero’s annual turnover to €3bn.
Prezero completed its acquisition of large parts of Suez’s waste management activities in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Luxembourg in summer 2021. At the time, the value of the divested businesses was said to be €1.1bn. In December 2020, Prezero completed the take-over of Suez’s waste operations in Sweden, as well.
Schwarz Group has been active in the German waste management market since 2009 via its subsidiary Greencycle which was established to manage the recyclable waste generated by its supermarket chains. Its first major acquisition was the 2018 take-over of Tönsmeier, then Germany’s fifth-largest waste company. The company’s name was changed to Prezero in the following year. At the start of 2019, Schwarz Group said it aimed to raise Prezero’s turnover by 50 per cent to €750m by 2023.
With its latest reported revenue increase, Prezero continues its meteoric rise up the ranks of the world’s largest waste management companies. Veolia, which acquired large parts of its rival Suez, is expected to report annual revenues of around €31bn in its waste management and water activities. With a turnover of slightly more than €8bn in 2020, Germany’s largest waste firm, Remondis, is in fourth place worldwide after the US groups Waste Management and Republic Services.
Privately held Schwarz Group, which is traditionally very secretive about its business, did not release any further financial figures for Prezero. The entire group reported a 7 per cent increase in turnover to €133.6bn. Discounter Lidl brought in €100.8bn, while the supermarket chain Kaufland accounted for €27.3bn and the online businesses generated €1.7bn.