CHICAGO — Chicago will allow seven teams to bid on a long-term lease of three waste collection and recycling facilities, the latest in a series of proposed asset-lease transactions undertaken by the city, officials announced yesterday.

The city last fall launched a request for qualifications from firms interested in bidding on the right to operate the facilities in exchange for an up-front cash payment. The city reviewed 12 submissions and prequalified seven teams to participate in a competitive bidding process.

“This large number of qualified bidders will only serve to strengthen the competitive process as we move forward,” the city’s chief financial officer Paul Volpe said in a statement. No date has been set for the bidding. The city previously had said it hoped to hold the final bidding in early January. The City Council must approve any deal.

City officials have not disclosed the amount they hope to receive for the proposed recycling lease or a use for the proceeds. Chicago also hopes to enter a lease involving Midway Airport.

In exchange for the cash payment, the private operator would receive a tax-exempt leasehold interest in the land, which provides federal tax breaks, as well as the exclusive right to operate the facilities, and to provide recovery and recycling processing under an expected 20-year contract. The private operator would also receive an annual tipping fee based on tonnage from the city.

The teams deemed qualified included: Allied Waste Transportation Inc. Chicago; ARC Disposal & Recycling, a subsidiary of Republic Services Inc., Mount Prospect, Ill.; Fulcrum BioEnergy & Casella Waste Systems Inc., Pleasanton, Calif.; Norcal Waste Systems Inc., San Francisco; Urbaser, S.A. & Transload America Inc., Madrid, Spain, and Batavia, Ill.; Veolia Environmental Services, West Chicago; and Waste Management of Illinois, Downers Grove.

William Blair & Co., Cabrera Capital Markets LLC, and SBK-Brooks Investment Corp. are financial advisers on the transaction with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Greene and Letts, and Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP providing legal advice.

The city in 2005 entered into a 99-year lease of the Chicago Skyway tollroad to a consortium for $1.8 billion, and in 2006 leased for 99 years its downtown parking garages for $563 million to a private operator.


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