Fresno recycler readies global expansion

Fresno-based Electronic Recyclers Inc., which has recycling operations in seven U.S. states, has plans to expand operations to India, Brazil, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, possibly as early as next year.

John Shegerian, ERI's chairman and CEO, first told trade publication American Metal Market the company's global expansion plans should be announced this year pending successful negotiations. He said it's part of a plan to increase sales to $1 billion by 2020. He anticipates sales of up to $65 million this year.

In an interview with The Business Journal, Shegerian mentioned several countries interested in welcoming the ERI brand and technology, including India, Brazil, UAE and Saudi Arabia, as well as entire regions such as China, Canada and Europe. The move, he said, will finally give more credit to its claims of being an international enterprise. 

"(The countries) are all in different stages. Some are more mature than others, so each country is in a different place, but they all recognize that e-waste is the fastest solid waste treatment market in the world. They want to be ahead of the game," Shegerian said.

ERI has been on an impressive growth course in recent years, adding a 7th electronics recycling center in South Carolina in May, joining centers in Fresno, Washington, Colorado, Indianapolis, Massachusetts and Texas. In March, Alcoa, the world's leading producer of aluminum, announced a $10 million investment in ERI resulting in a 10% equity stake. And in November 2010, LS-Nikko of South Korea, one of the world's largest copper smelters, extended its year-old partnership with ERI, increasing LS-Nikko's minority investment position with ERI worth "millions of dollars."

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