Dutch waste crisis: HVC walks away from potential AEB deal

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07.10.2019 − 

Ownership of Amsterdam's ailing waste-to-energy company AEB will not be transferred to the Dutch waste company HVC. On Friday, HVC announced that despite "constructive" meetings with the City of Amsterdam, the two had not been able to come to a workable solution allowing for a takeover of AEB's waste incineration activities within the framework HVC set out in advance. The waste company, said that it would now "refrain from further exploration of the takeover of these activities".

Amsterdam's city government had been keen on a HVC takeover, because it offered a means to save AEB without entirely surrendering control of the company or privatising a public service. A "cooperation" between Amsterdam and HVC would have involved Amsterdam joining the waste cooperative, currently owned by 44 municipalities and six water boards. AEB's management prefers pursuing a sale to the private waste management company Beelen.

But there had been resistance from within HVC's ranks since the organisation announced in mid-September that was considering Amsterdam as a member. Late last month, several local governments in member municipalities publicly pointed to problems with Amsterdam's accession. They included AEB's indebtedness, differences in organisational cultures and the dilution of their own stakes in an enlarged HVC.

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