The Sterling Group, an operationally focused middle market private equity firm, announced June 9 the formation of a new PET recycling platform company, Evergreen. Sterling executed the carve-out of Evergreen, the recycling division of current portfolio company Greenbridge Packaging, and merged it with the Riverside, CA, assets of CarbonLITE, which were acquired through a 363 bankruptcy process.
The combined business positions Evergreen as one of the nation's largest PET recyclers, collecting and processing over one billion post-consumer PET bottles annually at facilities in Clyde, OH and Riverside, CA. Evergreen's operations clean, sort, wash and grind post-consumer plastic bottles into recycled PET (rPET) flakes and pellets that are then extruded for use by bottle manufacturers and other customers. With increased legislation requiring recycled content in packaging and growing public commitment to the use of post-consumer content in plastic packaging, Evergreen is well positioned to help customers increase recycled content in their products. Evergreen is expected to double its manufacturing capacity of food grade rPET at its Clyde facility over the next year, with a major expansion project underway to add capacity and enhanced recycling capabilities.
"The combination of these two businesses creates a growing national supplier that is well equipped to help its major consumer packaged goods customers increase recycled content in their packaging and thus lessen their impact on the environment," says Scott MacLaren, Partner at The Sterling Group. "We look forward to Partnering with management to bring our collective decades of experience operating recycling facilities to the continued expansion of Evergreen."
"We are focused on elevating our commitment to rPET bottle-to-bottle recycling," says Omar Abuaita, CEO of Evergreen. "This is an exciting time; Riverside's recycling and food-grade rPET manufacturing capabilities are well aligned with the great team and operations we have in place at Evergreen and our plans to bring more high quality, food grade rPET to our customers."
Sterling's portfolio companies collectively recycle more than 1 billion PET bottles and 200 million HDPE milk jugs annually.