Abris-backed GreenGroup buys UAB Ecso

Central European circular economy leader GreenGroup enters the polyolefin recycling market with Lithuanian investment

8 August 2022, Vilnius – Abris Capital Partners (“Abris”), the ESG transformation specialist private equity investor, has supported GreenGroup, the circular economy leader in Central Europe, in acquiring UAB Ecso, a Lithuanian LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) recycling company.

Part of an ambitious M&A strategy, this acquisition marks GreenGroup’s entry into the polyolefin recycling market and creates the platform for further expansion in this sector across the CEE region. Over the next few years, GreenGroup will invest EUR 150 million to EUR 200 million to further consolidate its position as the largest integrated recycling group in CEE through capex investments and bolt-on acquisitions.

UAB Ecso is GreenGroup’s second add-on in recent weeks, following the acquisition of SIGAD, a Romanian developer of environmental reporting software, in July.

Adrian Stănculescu, Partner and Head of Abris Romania, commented:
“This latest acquisition consolidates GreenGroup’s recycling activities over the past 20 years and is a decisive step in the Group’s strategy to become a key player in polyolefins recycling in the region. Furthermore, it is a strategic investment that reinforces the Group’s commitment to sustainability and to tackling the most pressing environmental issues, such as plastic pollution and reducing carbon footprints.”

Central European investor Abris first invested in GreenGroup in 2016 and has since partnered with the firm’s management team to expand the business organically and through acquisition, and to build the leading circular economy player in CEE.

UAB Ecso was created in 2009 and developed into the leading polyethylene recycler in Lithuania. Currently, the company has an annual capacity to process 20,000 tons of film waste per year from household and industrial post-consumption, transforming it into recycled LDPE granules, thus addressing the needs of European producers for good-quality recycled input. Polyethylene is one of the most common types of plastics, amounting to 40% of total plastics consumption in Europe.

Vladas Venskutonis, UAB Ecso Founder, stated:
“Such materials have a low collection rate, and they require significant investments in advanced recycling technologies. Therefore, they are the most likely to reach incineration or landfills. By integrating UAB Ecso within GreenGroup’s ecosystem, we are certain to accelerate the circular economy of plastics, playing an important role in reducing pollution and in recovering a valuable resource for the economy.”

Recycled polyethylene granules have multiple applications, especially in the packaging industry, while demand for LDPE packaging applications is soaring across the retail and industrial sectors.

Constantin Damov, GreenGroup Chairmen of the Board, commented:
“The Lithuanian model proved to be a local success for closed-loop resourcing of plastic waste, aligned with the circular economy objectives. With this investment, we are positioning the Group as the first line of defense for limiting the environmental impact of single-use plastics – a group fitting both PET and polyolefins. Our objective is to scale this model in the region and other countries as well.”

Abris will continue building GreenGroup into the leading circular economy player in CEE. The Group is ready to address the increasing demand from individuals and industries for sustainable products using recycled inputs, thus contributing to reducing the carbon footprint in the production chain by at least 50% compared with virgin input.