The Midlands Engine investment fund (MEIF), through Maven Capital Partners, has provided Aurelius Environmental Ltd (“Aurelius”), an environmental management and materials recycling business, with a £1.5 million debt funding package.
The funding will be used by Aurelius to purchase new machinery to improve efficiencies, reduce the company’s carbon footprint and help to support its sustainable development strategy and strong social and economic ethos.
Black Country-based Aurelius recycles lead acid batteries using an energy positive process that deals with the hazardous chemicals in lead acid batteries to produce enhanced products for re-use in the battery manufacturing industry. Working in partnership with Cambridge University, Aurelius is developing a cleaner, better process to recycle lead acid batteries to harness hazardous waste as a raw material and produce purer chemical products for re-use.
Extraction of the used battery for its raw materials coupled with the stringent environmental regulations imposed by the local and national governments has spurred significant growth in the battery recycling market.
The global battery recycling market was valued at around $10 billion last year, according to new figures published by Transparency Market Research, and is projected to reach $11.83 billion by 2022. Analysts predict a compound annual growth rate of 11% between now and 2026 owing to the large number of batteries in use and strong demand from the replacement market.
Aurelius’ management team has considerable industry experience and is led by CEO Miles Freeman, a former Operations Director of Ecobat Technologies, the world’s largest producer and recycler of lead, and former senior manager at Veolia. Miles has extensive knowledge of the battery recycling market and operational delivery of various recycling technologies, logistics and management systems.
The company was introduced to Maven by Ludgate Finance, a specialist advisor in the alternative finance sector, that source and structure commercial finance solutions to businesses.
Miles Freeman, CEO of Aurelius Environmental, said, “We are delighted to receive funding from MEIF Maven Debt Finance. As an established business, we are committed to revolutionising the waste management and recycling industry and the funding will enable us to invest in advanced machinery which produces virtually zero waste, allowing us to provide a more sustainable and environmentally process to the market. We look forward to working with the MEIF team over the upcoming years.”
Andy Povey, Investment Manager at Maven Capital Partners said, “The Midlands has historically been a key driver of UK economic growth and a hotbed for innovative smaller businesses. We’re delighted to back an established, sustainable business whose social and economic ethos enhances the process by which it recycles lead acid batteries to produce purer products for re-use. We look forward to supporting the Aurelius team in their quest to revolutionise the waste management and recycling industry.”
Richard Mason, Director at Ludgate Finance said, “As the alternative finance industry continues to evolve, there is a continued need for brokers and lenders to work together for the benefit of SMEs. As a broker, we focus on customer needs, and our top priority is to ensure we introduce them to a suitable funder to meet their requirements. In this case, we are delighted to have helped Aurelius to do just that through the MEIF Maven Debt Fund. Aurelius is run by a strong management team with many years’ experience and who have secured a fantastic debt solution through Maven and are now well-positioned to accelerate their growth plans.”
Sean Hutchinson, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “Providing finance for innovative Midlands businesses such as Aurelius is exactly what the Midlands Engine Investment Fund was set up to deliver. We look forward to seeing how Aurelius’ growth journey progresses and would encourage other businesses looking to grow to explore the funding options available to them through the MEIF.”
Paul Brown, Black Country LEP Board Member said: “The Black Country LEP is delighted that Aurelius have received significant investment via the MEIF Maven Debt Fund. The BCLEP aims to support businesses like Aurelius to be able to develop their business in what is a technically advanced area of waste management and recycling in a growing global market. It is great news that Aurelius will continue to contribute to economic growth within the Black Country, and region. Investments such as this demonstrates that the Black Country is a great place to do business and that the Midlands is a thriving environment for business to flourish.”
The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.