GK Ventures, from Mufarej, leads investment of R$ 30 million in Negócios Verdes

GK Ventures, from Mufarej, leads investment of R$ 30 million in Negócios Verdes

Holding, which has Marco Kheirallah and Daniel Goldberg among its shareholders, joins two companies that want to deal with mining waste

GK Ventures, an impact investment manager led by Eduardo Mufarej, has just invested R$30 million in Negócios Verdes, the third company in the portfolio. The industrial waste disposal holding company was born from the union of Sulminas and Rolth do Brasil companies in the same group.

GK and investors Daniel Goldberg, from Lumina, and Marco Kheirallah, from SIP Capital, now hold 36.69% of Negócios Verdes, whose controlling shareholder is the Atalla family from Rio de Janeiro.

Investors understood that the two companies were acting with less impact and, together, they could leverage the operation. “There are a number of operational similarities and the possibility of a shared service center. From an efficiency point of view, it made more sense”, says Thomaz Pacheco, partner at GK Ventures and responsible for investments related to climate change.

Rolth was created almost 10 years ago and developed a pilot plant and patent registration in 12 countries with professors from the Federal University of Ouro Preto. It is the same group that was behind New Steel, an iron ore beneficiation technology company purchased by Vale for US$ 500 million in 2018.

Rolth’s focus is on treating steel slag, a steel industry waste that is challenging the market. “The problem is on a global scale and today there is no solution for this waste. In Brazil, it is a recurring problem with the Public Ministry because mining companies accumulate piles of slag that, depending on the volume, can cause collapse”, says Pacheco.

The industry estimate is that Brazil produces 5 million tons of steel slag per year and has piled up 50 million tons.

The pilot plant technology separates three by-products, reaching the so-called “zero landfill”: iron and metal, sold in the industry itself and to scrap dealers; steel aggregates, which can be used to produce concrete; and calcium and magnesium oxide, inputs for the fertilizer industry.

The company signed a contract with ArcelorMittal to carry out all the treatment of the melt shop slag at the Resende unit, in the state of Rio. Part of the contribution from GK goes to the development of this project, which will have the capacity to treat 20 thousand tons of slag per month.

At Sulminas, the story is similar, but focused on ornamental rocks. The company has developed a method of transforming the tailings into silica sand, a key input for the production of glass — but whose suppliers are handpicked by the industry. Negócios Verdes wants to break this trade barrier.

The investment in the holding is part of the strategy of the first GK fund, which currently has R$ 400 million under management. The manager allocated about 15% of the capital raised – the first investments were in Zenklub, for online therapy, and Rehagro, education focused on agribusiness.

“We are going to take advantage of this moment of correction of valuations to give more pace to the process of building the portfolio”, says Pacheco, with 85% of the fund for new investments.

Source: Value Pipeline

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