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Law firm has right chemistry for investment deal

LAW firm Ward Hadaway has helped a cutting edge renewable chemical technology company on a deal to secure backing from a global industry leader.

Lawyers from the firm’s Energy Group and Process Industries team advised Solvert Limited on a significant investment in the company by Paris-based Suez Environnement.

Solvert, based at the Wilton chemical industry complex on Teesside, specialises in converting household waste into a range of renewable chemicals used in the manufacturing sector.

Under the agreement Solvert will work with Suez Environnement, and its subsidiary SITA UK on an advanced research and development project to convert organic waste into feedstock for use in industrial fermentation processes to produce renewable chemicals.

The further investment into Solvert will enable the company to focus on optimising the pre-treatment of organic waste and maximising value creation from it.

Solvert is en-route to becoming a market leader in the development and production of renewable chemicals used extensively throughout the UK and global chemical markets.

Suez Environnement, one of the world’s leading environmental resource management groups, is committing resources from its research and development centre in Paris and SITA UK, one of the UK’s leading recycling and waste management companies, will provide technical support and also help with commercialisation work.

Mark WhiteheadMark Whitehead (pictured), Partner and Head of the Energy and Utilities team at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s team advising Solvert on the agreement, with support from Company and Commercial solicitor Steven Roper and Corporate Partner Richard Butts.

Mark said: “This is a significant deal for the development of the company. The fact that it is able to attract investment partners such as Suez Environnement is testament to the quality of the work which the team at Solvert are producing.

“It enables the business to move into its next phase of development and is a very positive story for the North East and for the next generation of chemical business growing out of the region’s talent pool.

“It is particularly rewarding to have assisted Solvert on this agreement as we have been providing support and assistance to the company since it was first established. It has been great to see the business grow and make progress towards its objectives.”

Kris Wadrop, founder and CEO at Solvert, said: “This agreement represents a major milestone for Solvert and demonstrates that the team’s hard work is paying dividends.

“This kind of corporate support available from such a key player in the industry is incredibly valuable as it clearly demonstrates the value of our technology and relevance of our commercial focus to industry.

“It was great to have the support of a fantastic team at Ward Hadaway on this deal, all of whom understood the business, its objective and the importance of the deal to the Solvert team. They have been a vital part of the development of the business and I have valued the advice of Mark and the rest of the team throughout the process.”

Solvert’s aim is to develop large-scale manufacturing facilities incorporating its proprietary technology to successfully convert a range of household waste to base chemicals.

The company, which was founded by chemicals engineer Wadrop in 2010, has previously secured funding from the Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund, which is backed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

This is the latest in a series of projects in the waste and renewables sectors which Ward Hadaway has been involved in.

The firm has previously advised on schemes including the establishment of anaerobic digestion plants on farms across the North to generate renewable electricity from farm waste, development of energy from waste projects in the South East of the country, and various agreements to generate electricity from landfill sites and a large-scale anaerobic digestion plant in County Durham.

Mark Whitehead said: “Ward Hadaway features significantly in these sectors and our work with Solvert is a further demonstration of how we help to provide practical, commercial legal advice to businesses throughout all stages of their commercial development.”

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