15 September 2017 by Steve Eminton

EMR purchase of Metal & Waste Recycling to be investigated

The Competition and Markets Authority has announced this week that it is investigating the “completed acquisition by European Metal Recycling Limited of Metal & Waste Recycling Limited”.

EMR is a major business within the metals recycling sector

EMR acquired Metal & Waste Recycling at the end of August 2017 (see letsrecycle.com story). EMR is the largest metals recycler in the UK with sites across the country as well as having dock access. It is also a global business.

In the sale, Metal & Waste Recycling was advised by the M&A and debt advisory firm Livingstone. The firm described Metal & Waste as “one of the largest metal recyclers in the UK market”, processing “over 800,000 tonnes per annum of metals”.

Commenting on the announcement by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a spokesman for EMR said: “We were expecting an investigation by the CMA and regard this as the normal process following an acquisition of this size. We will be working with the CMA over the coming weeks, responding to any questions that they may have. In the meantime, it is still business as usual for both companies and we expect the service to our customers to be unaffected.”

EMR has previous experience of a similar investigation. In 2013 it bought the metals recycling business of SITA UK (now Suez) and this was investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (the former equivalent of the CMA). In 2014 the OFT cleared the deal after a three month study (see  letsrecycle.com story).

Enterprise Act

Explaining its action this week, the CMA said that “On 11 September 2017, the CMA served an initial enforcement order under section 72(2) of the Enterprise Act 2002 on European Metal Recycling Limited, in relation to the completed acquisition by European Metal Recycling Limited of Metal & Waste Recycling Limited.”

According to documents on the CMA website, this initial order states that: “the CMA is considering, pursuant to section 22 of the Act, whether it is or may be the case that a relevant merger situation has been created and whether the creation of that situation has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets in the United Kingdom (UK).” The CMA also places a number of restrictions on EMR with regard to Metal & Waste.


Anyone wishing to comment is asked to send written representations about any competition or public interest to: Rosy Cheetham, Competition and Markets Authority, Victoria House, Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AD rosy.cheetham@cma.gsi.gov.uk

The CMA explains its role as: “We work to promote competition for the benefit of consumers, both within and outside the UK. Our aim is to make markets work well for consumers, businesses and the economy.” CMA is a non-ministerial department.

Related links
Competition and Markets Authority: EMR case
European Metal Recycling (EMR)
Metal & Waste Recycling


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