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M&A: Closed Loop Partners Acquires Sage Sustainable Electronics for ITAD Services, E-Waste Reduction

November 5, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Private equity and circular economy investment firm Closed Loop Partners has acquired a majority stake in Sage Sustainable Electronics for IT asset disposition (ITAD) services. Financial terms of the deal -- which Closed Loop and Sage positioned as a partnership -- were not disclosed. Also, go-forward percentage ownership figures for the buyer and seller were not disclosed.

Robert Houghton, CEO, Sage Sustainable Electronics
Robert Houghton, CEO, Sage Sustainable Electronics

The deal reinforces strong M&A activity in the ITAD market. Among the reasons: Annual spending on ITAD is expected to reach $34 billion by 2030, up from $16.8 billion in 2022, according to Research and Markets. That's a 9.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), the researcher said. The context: Demand for ITAD services has grown as businesses seek to reduce and/or eliminate e-waste.

Example buyers and investors in the ITAD market so far in 2023 include Iron Mountain, Full Circle Electronics and Elemental Holding Group, just to name a few.

Closed Loop Partners Acquires Sage Sustainable Electronics: About the ITAD Services Investment

Jill Vaske, co-founder, Sage Sustainable Electronics
Jill Vaske, co-founder, Sage Sustainable Electronics

Closed Loop Partners, based in New York City, invests in circular economy businesses. The company is organized around three business segments: An investment firm, an innovation center and an operating group. Closed Loop Partners has made more than 70 investments across nine countries.

Sage Sustainable Electronics, founded in 2014, is based in Columbus Ohio. The company's mission is to serve the following (and in this order): The planet, our customers, our colleagues, our communities, our suppliers, and our shareholders.

Sage offers reuse and recovery solutions to businesses seeking to sustainably dispose of their IT assets. On average, the company refurbishes or recycles nearly one million devices annually on behalf of customers. In 2022, Sage sent 58% of its total processed devices to a second life, mitigating approximately 300 million pounds of CO2e annually according to the EPA's Electronic Environmental Benefits Calculator, Sage said.

Karine Khatcherian, managing director, Closed Loop Partners

Sage co-founders Bob Houghton and Jill Vaské helped to "define best practices for the ITAD industry in security, asset management, and responsible recycling—including foundational support for the e-Stewards Certification program, the Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher program, and the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling," according to Sage.

Closed Loop Partners Acquires Sage Sustainable Electronics: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the deal, Sage CEO Robert Houghton said: "We're absolutely thrilled to join forces with Closed Loop Partners. This marks a significant step towards advancing the circular economy within the ITAD industry. First of all, they truly share our commitment to sustainability and reuse. That, of course, is always first on our list. But secondly, this partnership enables us to further expand our reach and increase our impact."

Jackson Pei, director, Closed Loop Partners

Added Karine Khatcherian, managing director and co-head of the Closed Loop Leadership Fund at Closed Loop Partners: "Sage Sustainable Electronics' work to safely increase reuse and proper disposition in the ITAD space is critical to ensuring valuable materials -- such as IT assets -- do not end up wasted in landfills or the natural environment. E-waste represents a massive loss of value that we can recover through more efficient reuse and recycling. We are proud to partner with the Sage team and support their continued growth as one of the leading IT Asset Disposition providers in North America."

Concluded Jackson Pei, director at Closed Loop Partners' Leadership Fund: "An overlooked source of climate risk is the emissions associated with creating a new product. Keeping used materials in circulation to reduce the need for new extraction and new product manufacturing is an important part of mitigating climate impact."

Related: See all ITAD news, research and analysis here.

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