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UPDATE: May 20, 2022: Republic Services has officially completed its acquisition of JRM Hauling & Recycling, a large Massachusetts hauler and recycler, on May 16.
- April 13: Republic Services is acquiring Peabody, Mass.-based JRM Hauling & Recycling and its affiliate GreenWorks, according to multiple industry sources and an April 12 letter posted on social media and shared with Waste Dive. Financial terms were not disclosed.
- JRM did not respond to requests for comment on the contents of the letter, and Republic declined to comment. A Teamsters representative confirmed that discussions have begun about integrating JRM’s non-unionized workforce into Republic’s unionized regional workforce, represented by Local 25.
- “It is with mixed emotions that we announce to you today that we have signed a sale agreement,” JRM Chairman James R. Motzkin and his son, James S. Motzkin, said in the letter. The deal is expected to close “around mid-May,” pending regulatory approval and other conditions.
Overview of the dive:
New England, like many other parts of the United States, has seen an increase in mergers and acquisitions activity in recent years as smaller operators seek an exit amid labor constraints and rising costs. JRM has long been considered a prime target if she ever decided to take the plunge.
According JRM website, the company serves residential, commercial and industrial customers in states including Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Various registers indicate JRM has a significant presence, with more than 350 employees and more than 300 trucks in recent years. Another key feature of the company’s portfolio is its GreenWorks LIM. The single-stream facility, which opened in 2015, can process up to 30 tons per hour and is one of the largest north of Boston.
JRM was founded in 1995 in Gloucester, Massachusetts by the Motzkin family and has since grown into a significant regional operation. According to tender documents from a city in the region, JRM was managing more than 25 municipal contracts in the spring of 2020. A sign of how JRM has been affected by the pandemic, like many other waste companies across nationwide, federal records show he received a nearly $5.35 million loan (which has since been cancelled) under the Paycheck Protection Program in 2020.
The Motzkin family is known locally for their intimacy, even in industry circles, but talk of a potential sale has been circulating for many months.
The April 12 letter states that this decision came after several offers in the past: “Although we have often been approached to sell our businesses over the years, it was not until the middle of last year that we seriously thought about it. Needing to think about our future and our families, it was time to sincerely consider selling when we were approached again.
While the area currently has several active acquirers, Republic is seen as a particularly logical choice given its existing transfer station near JRM’s base in Peabody, a small town north of Boston. Republic also has a transfer station in Boston as well as a rail transfer site acquired in the region in 2020, making it one of the best positioned carriers in terms of local infrastructure. According to previous tender documents, JRM typically uses disposal facilities operated by Covanta and WIN Waste Innovations.
The regional market has also seen several other private companies sell out in recent years. Waste Connections has been particularly active on the purchasing side as it expands in the state, with the 2021 acquisition of EL Harvey & Sons (which at the time was the largest independent carrier in the state) as well as more recent purchases of the major ABC Disposal Services (and its affiliated operations) as well as the smaller Nauset Disposal. Private equity-backed WIN Waste has also acquired several New England companies in recent years, as has Boston Carting Services.
This all comes as Massachusetts and the region sees increasing pressure on disposal capacity, which in turn puts more emphasis on recycling in some markets. Pending the completion of Republic’s acquisition of JRM, the nine Massachusetts MRFs will be owned or operated by publicly traded companies. WM has two (and operates a third state-owned), Republic currently has one, Waste Connections has two, and Casella Waste Systems has two.
For Republic, which spent $1.06 billion on mergers and acquisitions last year, this deal is just one of many in the works for 2022, and analysts expect increased activity. While the company’s pending $2.2 billion purchase of US Ecology will expand its environmental services and hazardous waste offerings, CEO Jon Vander Ark said in a February interview that “you’re going to see us grow first and foremost in our traditional recycling and solid waste business”. waste.” To that end, the company has also entered into solid waste-focused deals in states including Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and New Jersey in recent months.