Transaction Analysis

Departments - Editor's Column


Memoirs and firsthand accounts of the financial crisis written by those who feel they were in a close enough position to describe it are being released with regularity.

Henry Paulson, who was U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from mid-2006 until early 2009, had one of the closest views possible. The title of his 478-page book, On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System, is indicative of his recounting that the world’s lending system went through a period of turmoil that affected transactions large and small.

An encouraging sign that capital flows within the industry have improved, however, has been the re-emergence of headlines on the Web site relating news of transactions within the industry. In just 10 days in April 2010, news items portraying several transactions pointed to increased deal-making activity:

  • Steelmaker and scrap recycler Schnitzer Steel Industries, Portland, Ore., purchased a Montana-based scrap recycling and demolition company;
  • Solid waste and recycling firm Advanced Disposal, Jacksonville, Fla., purchased a recycling company based in Mississippi;
  • Canadian scrap recycler Triple M Metal is preparing a financing package to acquire Canada-based steel producer Royal Laser Corp.;
  • Cleveland-based aluminum producer Beck Aluminum acquired Pennsylvania-based secondary aluminum producer Met-Al; and
  • Ohio-based equipment vendor Company Wrench expanded its operations southward by opening new locations in South Carolina and Tennessee.

Some of these transactions will bring with them the scaling down of plant or office staffing, so they are not good news for everyone. The positive aspect, though, is that companies are again finding ways and working with the finance and lending industry to deploy capital and grow their businesses.

In an interview with, Paulson says of the financial markets at that time: “I was seeing major, blue-chip industrial companies that were having trouble raising financing, so I knew … that if the system had collapsed, there’d be thousands and thousands and thousands of mainstream industrial companies—middle-sized companies, large companies—that wouldn’t be able to raise their short-term funding, finance their inventories, pay their people.”

Considering that prospect, most news stories that portray a completed transaction in the recycling industry are welcome news on the Recycling Today Web site.