St-Therese waste treatment plant to be sold to current manager for about $10M

OAKVILLE, Ont. – Benev Capital Inc. (TSX:BEV) has a conditional agreement to sell its soil-treatment plant in St-Ambroise, Que., to a company controlled by the plant’s current manager.

For the past few years, the plant has been idle for months at a time due to a lack of contaminated soll and other waste material to process in economical quantities.

The last treatment campaign was from last May to Dec. 4.

The numbered company controlled by Jean-Francois Landry has agreed to pay about $10 million — $8 million in cash plus a further $2 million if a specific new contract is reached within three years of the deal.

There are several other conditions attached to the deal, including a new collective agreement with the plant’s union, applicable regulatory approvals and financing arrangements.

Benev Capital is the successor to Bennett Environmental, which had several other high-tech soil and waste treatment operations including a controversial plant near Belledune, N.B., that never became fully operational.

The company said Thursday that it’s two largest shareholders, which control a total of 41 per cent of Benev’s outstanding stock, have agreed to support the transaction in the absence of a superior offer.

Benev says it had about $64 million of cash as of the end of February, which will be managed conservatively while the company considers its strategic options.

“Benev is pleased to announce this transaction, which we view as mutually beneficial,” chief executive Lawrence Haber said in a statement.

“We will continue to seek to source, structure and complete a transformative transaction; one that enhances value for all shareholders. We also may consider a return of capital, special dividend and/or the dissolution of the company. In the meantime, we will manage our cash conservatively, reduce our expenses where appropriate and remain prudent and patient.”