Tire-Recycling Company Reklaim Resurfaces, Raising $4M

Updated 9/27
It’s been a long and twisted path for Reklaim, a cleantech company that seeks to turn old tires into oils and other useful products. Now, it’s finding more investment cash to fuel its next chapter.

The Seattle-based company was founded in 2003 and raised some $20 million in capital from investors including Goldman Sachs. The money was used mostly to build a recycling plant in Boardman, OR, which also attracted millions of dollars in green-industry tax credits from the state of Oregon, as noted by this Oregonian report.

Reklaim’s idea is to break scrap tires down into oil, gases, and carbon that can be used in plastics, dyes, and other products. It promised to do this through a process called pyrolisis, which involves applying high heat and very low oxygen—so low that the tires don’t actually burn.

But cost overruns on the plant left Reklaim owing millions of dollars to Seattle-based energy efficiency firm McKinstry, which was a contractor on the project. And that debt eventually led to McKinstry taking control of Reklaim, as detailed in a federal lawsuit from a few Reklaim investors.

In that civil suit, the investors claimed they were misled about the company’s financial health. Reklaim officials denied wrongdoing, and the suit was settled in late 2010.

Now, it looks like Reklaim might have a new start. The company’s president, Tom Redd, reports on LinkedIn that he started in that job in October 2010—just about a month before the lawsuit settlement was reported by the federal court.

The company is also raising money again, with an SEC filing this week indicating that it’s raised about $4.2 million from 10 investors. The paperwork indicates this is part of an equity round that could reach some $12.5 million.

And although it’s no longer going by the name McKinstry Reklaim, the company does list its address at the McKinstry Innovation Center, the larger company’s Seattle incubator.

McKinstry’s Genevieve Guinn tells me that McKinstry is still the single largest shareholder in Reklaim, but is no longer its majority investor—Goldman Sachs and Denny Hill Capital are involved in the company again. (McKinstry comment added 9/27 11:45 am Pacific)

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