Foresight invests £4 million in rubber recycling

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1 July 2009 - Foresight Group (“Foresight”), a leading alternative asset manager, announced today that it has completed a £4 million investment in Crumb Rubber Limited, a Plymouth based company at the forefront of tyre recycling in the UK.

Founded in 2005 following a worldwide search for the best available technologies, and operational from 2007, Crumb Rubber processes used truck and car tyres into fine rubber powders. The purity of Crumb Rubber’s powders means they can be used to replace expensive virgin rubber in applications such as tyre retreading, and also to enhance the characteristics of plastic products such as roofing slates.

The firm currently employs 14 people at its highly automated plant, which is capable of producing 20,000 tonnes of rubber powders per annum.

Developed in conjunction with the Una Group, Crumb Rubber has recently strengthened its management team, bringing in additional product development and operations expertise, as well as market-leading tyre recycling knowledge.

Foresight’s investment will provide the company with the funding to optimize the operations at its existing plant, accelerate the research and development of new applications in the rubber and plastics markets and also to fund its own vertical integration, enabling it to provide a more complete solution to the tyre industry.

Giles Whitman, Investment Manager at Foresight, comments:
“There are a variety of tyre recycling processes vying for attention at the moment, but we believe Crumb Rubber’s is the most sustainable, and the best placed to help deal with the 500,000 tonnes of tyres that are scrapped in the UK each year. Rather than recovering energy or raw materials from the rubber, both of which destroy the value created in the rubber manufacturing process, Crumb Rubber’s operation retains that value, offering a more environmentally friendly treatment route. As an investment, this deal highlights Foresight’s continuing role in developing the infrastructure the UK needs to meet its landfill diversion and recycling targets.”  

Dave Young, Commercial Director of Crumb Rubber, added: “This investment gives us the means to broaden the scope of our business and drive future growth. Foresight’s experience in the environmental infrastructure sector will be invaluable in helping us to take advantage of the opportunities that are now available to us.”