Administrators record £121m ‘deficiency’ at Recycling Lives

The administrators appointed at Recycling Lives Ltd last month have recorded a ‘deficiency’ of £121 million at the company. 

The sale of Recycling Lives was split, with S Norton buying its Glasgow business and Global Ardour Recycling acquiring remaining metal assets

This is the difference between what is owed, largely to unsecured creditors, and the money available after the sale of assets and paying secured creditors.

It appears secured creditors, owed £52 million, will get some money back from the sale of assets though this now looks extremely unlikely for the remaining owed parties. The assets of Recycling Lives were sold to Global Ardour Recycling soon after going into administration (see letsrecycle.com story).

Assets listed in the report as ‘estimated to realise’ include ‘investments’ which will contribute £21.7m to debts, £10.9m for freehold property and £1.6m for plant and machinery.

The report lists a potential £802,000 available after the sale of assets and payment to secured creditors.

Preferential creditors are owed £2.8m while unsecured creditors are owed £102.3 million. With a floating charge of £19 million applied, the company has a ‘deficiency’ of £121.3 million.


While estimates provided by Recycling Lives suggested that £18 million would be available from the sale of assets and paying secured creditors, the ‘estimated to realise’ value of these assets was only £802,000.

The main difference here was the difference in the ‘book value’ of ‘investments’. Recycling Lives has estimated this at £46.5 million, but the ‘estimated to realise’ value was £21.7 million.

The book value for plant and machinery was also £15 million, but the ‘estimated to realise’ value was only £1.6m.


The report also includes a list of unsecured creditors owed money by Recycling Lives.

This includes £2.4 million owed to Aon UK, £213,000 owed to Urbaser and dozens of others including relatively small amounts owed to councils and other waste companies.

The majority of the owed money however is to other companies formerly in the Recycling Lives group, with TH FRAG bidco owed £26 million and Recycling Lives Centre owed £10 million.


As first revealed by letsrecycle.com, Recycling Lives announced last month that it was placing parts of the business into administration (see letsrecycle.com story).

The sale, following a strategic review in 2023, is thought to have been brought on due to  macro-economic factors as well as a fire at the company’s Preston site in March 2023.

Recycling Lives Services will continue to provide all the services it has previously offered, focusing on compliance services, brokered environmental waste solutions and commodities. The company added that it will continued to deliver “authentic social value in all our operations”.

There is also no impact on the Recycling Lives Charity, the Prison Academy program will continue through Recycling Lives Services and its partnership with the charity.

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