25 February 2021 by Joshua Doherty

Biffa snaps up Company Shop Group

Biffa plc announced today (25 February) that it has acquired the UK’s “largest redistributor of surplus food”, the Company Shop Limited, for an upfront cost of £82.5 million.

Biffa says the move marks a “significant strategic step” in its commitment to the circular economy.

The Company Shop collects surplus produce and sells it through its stores

The Company Shop Group aims to prevent waste by identifying surplus produce and then collecting, processing and redistributing it for sale through its “unique network of membership-based outlets”.

In its accounts for the year to September 2019, the Company Shop Group recorded revenues of £44.2 million. Biffa said in its release the group now has a run rate as of today of around £85m.

Based in Barnsley, it owns 12 shops across the UK in locations such as Darlington, Edinburgh and Leicester.

Surplus produce includes production overruns, trial products, or produce that has been incorrectly labelled or packaged.

‘Leadership position’

(L-R) Michael Topham, chief executive of Biffa and Steph McGinty, group managing director of Company Shop Group

Michael Topham, chief executive of Biffa plc, said: “The acquisition of Company Shop Group strengthens Biffa’s leadership position in the UK circular economy.

“Its redistribution services complement Biffa’s established waste and recycling services, and supply of closed loop recycled raw materials.

“As the only commercial redistributor of scale in the UK, Company Shop Group is the market-leader in a growing sector, with a strong, credible growth plan which we will deliver together. Biffa and Company Shop Group share a common set of goals, including the continued development of profitable, sustainable waste management solutions while making a meaningful contribution to society.

“We welcome all of Company Shop Group’s members, partners and staff to Biffa and look forward to the next stage of the business’ development.”

Commitment

Biffa says that the move strengthens its commitment to “unlocking circular economy innovation” for its customers and enhances its service provision across the waste hierarchy.

It added that sustainable waste management is increasingly at the top of the agenda for retailers, manufacturers and food service organisations, with greater political, regulatory and social pressures to reduce the amount of waste generated by the industry.

‘Shared ambition’

John Marren, founder of Company Shop Group, said: “Biffa plc is another vanguard, changing the way that people think about waste. Our aligned values and shared ambition will enable both the delivery of a truly unique circular economy proposition to industry alongside continued growth in the important role that sustainable redistribution plays.”

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