Waste Management Inc. (WM), North America’s largest recycler, acquired a stake in closely held InEnTec Inc. after exchanging its holding in a joint venture with the company.

Waste Management, which is based in Houston, completed the deal through a “share-for-share exchange,” Karl Schoene, InEnTec’s chief executive officer, said today in a telephone interview. InEnTec disclosed the $ 22 million investment in a filing today.

Waste Management acquired the stake after selling its ownership in S4 Energy Solutions LLC, a venture with Bend, Oregon-based InEnTec. S4 owns and operates plants that process landfill waste into electricity and liquid fuel.

“S4 is now a wholly owned subsidiary of InEnTec, and Waste Management as a result joins InEnTec as a significant shareholder,” Schoene said.

The deal makes Waste Management’s investment portfolio “more consistent,” Joe Vaillancourt, managing director for the company’s Organic Growth Group, said in a statement yesterday. It has equity stakes in other closely held companies developing waste-to-fuel conversion technologies, including Enerkem Inc., Terrabon Inc., and Agilyx Corp.

InEnTec’s plasma gasification technology converts household garbage into gases that can be reformulated into fuels such as ethanol and hydrogen or burned in gas turbines to generate electricity. The process is based on research done at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the U.S. Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

InEnTec has a contract with Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc., a closely held waste-to-ethanol plant developer, to provide its gasification systems for the company’s projects, Schoene said. Fulcrum, which plans to build its first plant in California, registered Sept. 22 for a $ 115 million initial share sale.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Herndon in San Francisco at aherndon2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

Yahoo! Finance: Waste Management Industry News

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