A shared focus on tracking and showcasing environmental, social, governance metrics to clients was a point of interest for the acquisition. | Chayanuphol/Shutterstock

Fast-growing processor Sprout late last year purchased key assets of CircleIT, a longtime processor previously known as HiTech Assets. A Sprout executive said CircleIT’s platform for tracking and reporting sustainability metrics to clients helped drive the deal.

Sprout, which was known as SMR Worldwide until rebranding in 2020, operates four e-scrap and ITAD facilities, located in North Carolina, California, and, most recently, Texas and Massachusetts.

At the end of October 2023, Sprout began a strategic asset acquisition of fixed assets and customers of CircleIT, which will no longer exist as a business entity. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tom Allison, president of Sprout, told E-Scrap News the asset acquisition is “transformative” for Sprout’s business growth. He noted both companies have been strategic partners over the years and share a similar focus on tracking and showcasing environmental, social, governance (ESG) metrics to clients.

CircleIT has made such quantifying and reporting a core component of its service for customers. Founded in 2002 as HiTech Assets, the company was acquired by a private equity firm in 2016 and shifted course to move further into the asset refurbishment and reuse space. In 2021, the company changed its name to CircleIT.

At the time, CircleIT President Will Cohen told E-Scrap News the growing emphasis on refurbishment was joined by a new service offering the company called “Certified ESG.” The service was framed as a way of helping clients apply used device management activities to their ESG goals, which more and more major companies were adopting. A key part of Certified ESG involved reporting various metrics to client companies to highlight the impact of their ITAD activities.

Allison said CircleIT’s emphasis on ESG reporting – particularly an annual report the company provides clients – was a point of interest for Sprout when considering the deal.

“It has key metrics in there that customers will want to see,” Allison explained.

In a statement, Cohen said the asset acquisition “represents an exciting new chapter.”

“By combining our strengths with Sprout’s, we will be even better positioned to address the growing demand for ESG-aligned ITAD services,” he said.

CircleIT operated two facilities, one in Memphis, Tenn. and one in Oklahoma City, Okla., but it closed its Memphis facility in early 2023. Allison noted the Oklahoma City facility will be winding down and the processing activities at that site will be incorporated into Sprout’s facilities.

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