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Viscolube acquires Bitolea

Viscolube Srl, a portfolio company of Stirling Square Capital Partners, has acquired Bitolea, an Italian company that treats and recycles solvents and other chemical waste.

Stirling Square Capital Partners is a leading pan-European mid-market private equity firm based in London. Viscolube, a 2016 investment by Stirling Square’s Third Fund, is the Italian leader in the used motor oil recycling sector, and a growing player in the hazardous waste collection and treatment sector in Italy. It operates two chemical plants which process more than 170,000 tonnes of used lubricating oil annually and an industrial waste collection network managing more than 140,000 tonnes for more than 12,000 customers.

Bitolea is the leading Italian player in the treatment and recycling of solvents and other chemical waste, managing more than 110,000 tonnes of products annually. The company, which was owned by Clessidra Capital Partners II, is headquartered in Pavia and maintains a share of 35% in the waste solvent regeneration market in Italy and a share of 65% in the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) sub-segment of the market.

Clessidra is the leading manager of private equity funds dedicated to the Italian market, with assets under management of about EUR2.5 billion (USD2.96 billion). Established in 2003, Clessidra is part of Italmobiliare S.p.A., the Italian investment holding controlled by the Pesenti family.

Both Viscolube and Bitolea are chemical engineering-driven businesses, with state-of-the-art facilities that will benefit from cross-fertilisation initiatives and best-practice adoption.

The combined business represents the technology leader in the liquid waste regeneration sector, as well as a one-stop shop for industrial waste solutions.

“The combination of Viscolube and Bitolea will create a national champion of the circular economy, with undisputed leadership in technology and process know-how, unique development capabilities, and a zealous focus on the highest environmental, health and safety standards,” said Antonio Lazzarinetti, CEO of Viscolube.

“Bitolea represents a compelling strategic fit for Viscolube. This is a truly transformational acquisition, which establishes the clear leading platform in the highly fragmented hazardous waste industry. Importantly, both businesses serve a critical environmental service, as the alternative to regeneration for such waste is incineration. We are proud to invest in businesses founded on a principle of respect for the environment,” said Enrico Biale, a member of Stirling Square’s investment team who serves on the Board of Directors of Viscolube.

“Over the past few years, we believe to have successfully transitioned Bitolea from a family owned business to a management-led corporate player. Bitolea will benefit from being part of a larger group in the context of the waste recycling industry,” said Simone Cucchetti, managing director of Clessidra. “We are glad to complete this transaction.”

Bitolea was advised by Lazard (M&A Advisory), NCTM (Legal), PricewaterhouseCoopers (Accounting), Bain & Co (Business). Stirling Square and Viscolube were advised by Leonardo & Co. and Banca Euromobiliare (M&A Advisory), Pavia e Ansaldo (Legal M&A), Gattai Minoli Agostinelli & Partners (Legal Banking) and Equita SIM (Debt Advisory).

No financial terms were disclosed.