Pioneering venture capital fund completes first investment

The only venture capital fund dedicated to the UK recycling sector has completed its first investment, providing support for a Bristol based early stage recycling business.

The Recycling Fund, set up by WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme) and managed by Impax Asset Management Ltd, has announced today that it is investing £350,000 in Oakside Logistics Ltd. Oakside operates an innovative business model that will help their customers in the automotive sector comply with the challenging requirements of the End of Life Vehicles Directive and the Hazardous Waste Directive. Oakside is working closely with CCR AG, a company that has proven this business model in Germany.

Impax led, negotiated and completed a total funding package of £500,000 for Oakside. The first round of £250,000 has been completed with £150,000 of co-investment funds raised from the South West Regional Venture Capital Fund alongside an initial investment of £100,000 from The Recycling Fund. The Recycling Fund has committed a further £250,000 which is expected to be invested before the year-end.

"We are delighted to have secured this funding which will enable us to grow our business," says Oakside Logistics managing director Richard Brown. "We help our customers across the country recycle a range of waste materials and prevent these materials ending up in landfill. We will be able to recover an extra 1750 tonnes of paper packaging and 800 tonnes of plastic components such as bumpers each year as a result of this investment."

"Oakside is at an exciting phase of its development," comments Marion Bernard, Senior Investment Manager at Impax. "We are extremely pleased that The Recycling Fund has been able to provide the financial support required for the business to move forward to its next stage of growth. We look forward to working closely with Oakside’s management team to expand this important recycling service for the automotive sector."

"This deal demonstrates that The Recycling Fund is fulfilling a genuine market need for equity finance to support innovative business models and early stage businesses in the UK recycling sector," says WRAP chairman Vic Cocker.

"Research has suggested that the recycling sector will require approximately £6bn of investment in reprocessing capacity alone over the next 15 years if the UK is to meet recycling targets so more access to commercial investment will be essential. The Recycling Fund is designed to stimulate more involvement from the investor community by demonstrating what is possible."

Simon Griffiths of the South West Regional Venture Capital Fund comments: "We are delighted to be providing financial support to Oakside. The company is an excellent example of a business based in our region that has a real opportunity for growth in markets across the UK and beyond."

The Recycling Fund will invest £350,000 in return for a 23% equity holding in the Oakside business and has introduced an experienced non-executive director, Richard Crocker, to act for the Fund on the company’s board. Richard has also invested in the business to provide the company with additional funds and expertise to help support business growth.

The South West Regional Venture Capital Fund will invest £150,000 in return for an equity stake of around 10% in the business. Bird & Bird was the legal adviser for The Recycling Fund and Stephens and Scown acted for Oakside.

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