The waste management company is currently the subject of a takeover bid from US private equity firm Energy Capital Partners, with a decision due soon.
Biffa announced in June that it had received a series of unsolicited takeover bids, which it said it was minded to accept if the private equity firm met its £1.4 billion valuation.
Following a series of delays, Biffa set Energy Capital Partners a ‘put up or shut up’ deadline of 27 September for a firm bid (see letsrecycle.com story).
An ongoing HMRC landfill tax probe revealed in Biffa’s 2020/21 financial results which could be worth up to £150 million is believed to be at the centre of discussions between the firms. Biffa has set aside £20 million in relation to the inquiry as it waits to hear back from HMRC, which may not be soon as the probe is “expected to continue for some time”.
The sector now waits with bated breath for Tuesday to see if Biffa will become the latest large waste management company to be bought by a private equity firm.
In today’s trading update, Biffa talked up its credentials as “an established enabler of the UK circular economy” with more than 10,000 employees.
Biffa said it had invested in surplus redistribution, plastic recycling, energy recovery infrastructure and low carbon collections, “leading to a 70% reduction in our carbon emissions since 2002.”
The company says its sustainability strategy, ‘Resourceful, Responsible’, will see it “unlock” £1.25bn of investment in green economy infrastructure by 2030 – around £1bn of which it says it has already “committed” to – while further reducing its carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. Biffa aims to reach net zero emissions by no later than 2050.