10 May 2019 by Joshua Doherty

EMR agrees to sell parts of M&W after competition inquiry

European Metals Recycling (EMR) has sold parts of a metals recycling company it acquired in 2017, in order to comply with an order by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA).

The agreement will see parts of Metal and Waste Recycling (M&W), which EMR acquired in 2017, sold to Preston-based recycling company Recycling Lives. This will include all of M&W with the exception of its London sites (Edmonton and Neasden).

The sale will complete on the 30 May 2019 and on closing, the part of the M&W business based in  London will transfer to EMR.

EMR’s dockside offices at Alexandra dock

A statement on behalf of EMR said: “We believe that M&W will continue to thrive under the ownership of Recycling Lives and provide a secure future for M&W’s employees.

“We thank the M&W employees for their patience and understanding through the divestment process and on closing we will be delighted to welcome to the EMR Group those M&W employees based at the London Sites.”


The CMA investigation into EMR’s acquisition began in September 2017, a month after EMR and Bain Capital Credit entered into a binding agreement for EMR to acquire M&W through the purchase of the whole of the issued share capital of M&W’s holding company, CuFe Investments Limited. The value of the transaction was approximately £52.6 million.

The CMA handed down its final report in August 2018, where it ruled that European Metal Recycling must sell five sites; three in the West Midlands, one in the North East and one in the South East.

The authority did rule however that other areas of the business, including the buying (not via a tendered contract) and selling of general scrap metal, the merger was not found to substantially weaken competition.

EMR was also fined £300,000 back in January of this year, for failing to comply with an enforcement order relating to the integration of the businesses (see letsrecycle.com story).

EMR operates 65 metal recycling sites across the UK processing more than 800,000 tonnes a year of ferrous and non-ferrous metal. It is described by the CMA as the largest recycler of scrap metal in the UK, while M&W is thought to be the fourth largest.


Recycling Lives describes itself as a “unique company” which uses its commercial operations in recycling and waste management to support and sustain charity programmes for offender rehabilitation. It has 40 years of experience in the waste industry, but the charity model was founded 10 years ago.

A statement by Recycling Lives said: “Recycling Lives has entered into an agreement to acquire Metal & Waste Recycling Ltd.

“Subject to the normal customary closing conditions, the acquisition is scheduled to complete on May 30. At this point, Recycling Lives Ltd will acquire all its sites and operations with the exception of two sites in Edmonton and Neasden.

“Metal & Waste Recycling Ltd (M&W) is a national recycling business with sites nationwide. Like Recycling Lives it recycles all ferrous and non-ferrous metals with a reputation for good service for its loyal customers.”


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