Raft of firms called in for Waste Management’s $7.2bn Stericycle acquisition

Latham & Watkins, Hogan Lovells, Vinson & Elkins and Baker Botts steer deal to expand top US waste management company’s healthcare footprint

Vinson & Elkins, Baker Botts and Hogan Lovells are guiding Waste Management on its $7.2bn acquisition of Stericycle. 

Meantime Latham & Watkins is acting for Stericycle, which is based in Bannockburn, Illinois and specialises in collecting and disposing of regulated medical waste. 

The deal will see Waste Management, which dominates the rubbish collection space in the US, expand its limited footprint in the healthcare industry. The Houston-based business collects rubbish and recycles it into clean, renewable energy. 

The Vinson team advising the company on the deal was led by M&A partners Steve Gill and Doug McWilliams, along with environmental litigator Ron Tenpas and Palmina Fava, co-head of the government investigations and white collar defence practice.

Meantime Baker Botts’ team was led by antitrust and competition partners James Kress and Jeffrey Oliver and special counsel Christina Ryu-Naya in Washington DC, as well as antitrust partners David Cardwell and Matthew Levitt and counsel Sofia Doudountsaki in Brussels. 

The core Hogan Lovells team was led by London corporate and finance partner Sylvain Dhennin with support from counsel Charles Jemmett and associate India Maddison.  

The Latham effort for Stericycle was led by Chicago M&A partners Bradley Faris and Max Schleusener and Chicago partner Terra Reynolds, vice chair of the firm’s healthcare and life sciences industry group.  

The take-private deal will see Waste Management pay $62 in cash per Stericycle share, representing an enteprise value of $7.2bn including around $1.4bn of Stericycle’s net debt. 

Waste Management said the deal, expected to close by the fourth quarter of the year, will generate more than $125m in annual cost cuts and be accretive to its earnings and cash flows within one year of its close.

It comes amid a growing waste management market in North America, which is expected to grow to nearly $230bn by 2027, up from $208bn in 2019, according to a Reuters report. 

Waste Management will fund the transaction using a combination of bank debt and senior notes. 

Centerview Partners served as exclusive financial advisor to Waste Management on the deal, and BofA Securities acted as exclusive financial advisor to Stericycle. 

Dealmaking jumped 38% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, when global M&A slumped to a 10-year low according to LSEG, though deals are taking longer to complete amid increased regulatory scrutiny.

Latham placed sixth in the global M&A legal advisor rankings by deal value in the opening three months of the year, working on deals worth $84.9bn. The firm had placed second in the rankings for 2023 behind Kirkland & Ellis, which advised on deals worth nearly $400bn over the course of the year. 

Meantime Vinson & Elkins’ work on deals worth just over $39bn in the first quarter saw it rank 15th. In 2023 the firm worked on $81.4bn worth of deals, earning it 25th place. Baker Botts and Hogan Lovells were not among the top 25 firms included in the rankings. 

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