BlackRock fund acquires RNG producer Vanguard Renewables

Vanguard Renewables is the owner and operator of the largest anaerobic digester in the Northeast, located on the Goodrich Family Dairy Farm in Salisbury, Vermont. (Photo: Business Wire).

July 20 (Renewables Now) - A fund managed by BlackRock Real Assets has taken over Vanguard Renewables, a US company that produces renewable natural gas (RNG) from agriculture and organic food waste.

The official announcement did not disclose the price for which the BlackRock fund has acquired the company from Vision Ridge Partners. However, a person familiar with the matter has told The Wall Street Journal that the transaction is valued at USD 700 million (EUR 686.3m) and that BlackRock could invest at least a further USD 1 billion to finance the acquired business’ expansion plans.

Founded in 2014 by John Hanselman and Kevin Chase, Vanguard Renewables is a developer of organics-to-renewable energy projects based in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The company operates through two distinct business lines – Vanguard Organics and Vanguard Ag. The former converts inedible food and beverage waste as well as dairy manure into RNG and liquid low-carbon fertiliser through its so-called Farm Powered anaerobic co-digestion process, while Vanguard Ag is a multi-year partnership with Dominion Energy that converts just manure into RNG.

Vanguard Renewables currently owns and operates on-farm anaerobic digester facilities in the northeast and runs manure-only digesters in the south and west for Dominion Energy. According to the announcement, BlackRock Real Assets will support the company’s management to commission over 100 anaerobic digesters across the US by 2026.

“Renewable natural gas is an attractive and fast-growing market that provides decarbonisation solutions for both the provider of the waste, as well as the natural gas consumer. We look forward to partnering with Vanguard Renewables’ experienced management team to support the company’s strong growth momentum,” said Mark Florian, Head of Diversified Infrastructure at BlackRock Real Assets.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.980)

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