Hazardous-waste management company Clean Harbors does more than its name suggests. Its major business lines are its technical services and industrial services units. Its technical services group, which accounts for more than 40% of sales, provides for the collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal of hazardous waste, including chemical and laboratory waste (but not nuclear waste). Its industrial services unit provides high-pressure and chemical cleaning, catalyst handling, decoking, material processing, and industrial lodging services. Clean Harbors also has a field services segment and an exploration services unit. In a major move, in 2012 the company agreed to acquire Safety-Kleen for $1.25 billion.
The deal helps Clean Harbors to expand its porfolio by moving into the recycling of used motor oil. The acquisition of Safety-Kleen, which also provides environmental services to motor races, allows Clean Harbors to broaden its solvent-recycling capabilities and expand its waste treatment services. Safety-Kleen services more than 200,000 customer locations. It operates a fleet of more than 2,300 vehicles and 1,000 rail cars and collects and processes about 200 million gallons of used oil annually.
The company has operations in four reportable segments: Technical Services, Field Services, Industrial Services, and Oil and Gas Field Services. Oil and Gas Field Services, consists of the previous Exploration Services segment, as well as certain oil and gas related field services departments. Clean Harbors' Feild Services segment provides a wide variety of environmental cleanup services on customer sites or other locations on a scheduled or emergency response basis.
The company's 200 service locations include some 50 waste management facilities located throughout North America in 37 US states, seven Canadian provinces, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. The company also operates locations in Bulgaria, China, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, and the UK.
Clean Harbors boosted its revenues by 15% in 2011 thanks to a 15% increase in Technical Services revenues due to changes in product mix and increases in pricing ($45.5 million), increases in volumes being processed through treatment, storage, and disposal facilities and waste water treatment plants ($16.8 million), and the strengthening of the Canadian dollar. Other factors included revenues from an acquisition and an increase in base business; a 30% rise in Industrial Services revenues due to an increase in our lodging business ($53.9 million), an increase in shutdown work performed at refineries in Western Canada, and growth in the oil sands region of Canada. In particular the company saw an 88% boost in Oil and Gas revenue due to fluids handling and surface rentals activity related to the acquisition of Peak Energy Services Ltd., in 2011 ($78.9 million), higher oil prices and stronger energy services activities. Field Services revenues decreased 33% due in part to work related to the Yellowstone River oil spill in Montana during the year.
Despite the overall higher revenues, the company reported a net loss of 3% in 2011, attributable to a 33% increase in depreciation and amortization expenses (due to acquisitions, increased capital expenditures and higher amortization costs); a 41% increase in interest expense due to the issuance of $250.0 million in senior secured notes and the amendment of revolving credit facility; and a 23% increase in selling, general and administrative expenses.
The company's strategy for business growth involves both expanding its service offerings and the geographic regions in which it operates; cross-selling its services among its four business segments; pursuing large-scale projects; and grow its business through both organic growth and acquisitions.
In a deal to allow Clean Harbors to expand into key markets in western Canada, in 2011 the company acquired Peake Energy Services, an oil and gas services firm, for $167 million.
That same year, however, Clean Harbors failed in a bid to acquire Calgary-based Badger Daylighting, a provider of hydrovac services, for $248 million. Badger shareholders rejected the deal.
Alan McKim, the company's chairman and CEO, controls about 9% of Clean Harbors. – less