Recycling Lives acquires John R. Adam & Sons

Metals recycling and environmental business Recycling Lives today (12 July) announced that it had acquired the Glasgow-based recycler John R. Adam and Sons Ltd.

JR Adam & Sons is a well-known fourth generation family business, specialising in the processing of ferrous and non-ferrous metals into furnace feed for domestic and international smelters.

The sum paid for JR Adam & Sons has not been disclosed – the business had a turnover of £48 million in the Covid pandemic year of 2020 (down by |£10 million from a year earlier)

Recycling Lives noted that Three Hills Capital Partners, as a shareholder in Recycling Lives, provided “additional support throughout the acquisition process”.

JR Adam & Sons started operating today as part of the combined company. The development will see Recycling Lives’ recycling business hit over £300 million turnover and take its employee count to over 550.

(above: The JR Adam & Sons berth in Glasgow)


Andrew Hodgson, executive chairman of Recycling Lives

The purchase of John R. Adam and Sons Ltd is a sign of further growth at Recycling Lives.

Back in 2017 it acquired a number of sites from Metal and Waste, which had previously been owned by EMR. Recycling Lives said that its latest acquisition, John R. Adam and Sons is  situated in Glasgow’s King George V Dock and is capable of processing 600 metric tonnes of steel a day and can load vessels with up to 4,000 tonnes of recycled metal at its deep-water berth.

Recycling Lives says that it is the UK’s largest processor of end-of-life vehicles, and already has a base in Falkirk – and with the acquisition of John R. Adam and Sons Ltd, it will take the number of locations it operates across the UK to 23.

‘Fantastic family business’

Andrew Hodgson, executive chairman of Recycling Lives, said: “John R. Adam and Sons Ltd is a fantastic family business that has a proud heritage stretching back over 130 years and is the perfect strategic fit for us as we look to complement our network of facilities and increase our capacity and capabilities.

“I’d particularly like to thank Jake and John Adam, as well as Peel Ports for their patience and support throughout the process.”

Mr Hodgson added: “This acquisition fits into our longer-term plans of being a world leading circular economy business. This includes increasing high-grade quality recycled feedstock to produce more green steel through our world class processes, which dovetails with Scottish Government policy.

“Our business is built on delivering environmental innovation and social value, while providing opportunities to increase skills and careers, and contributing to social development. We look forward to working with the Scottish prison system to help rehabilitate ex-offenders and make a positive difference to the community.”

‘Great fit’

Jake Adam, now managing director at Recycling Lives

Substantial investment is planned for the Glasgow site which will see new plant and equipment installed to increase capacity and create additional jobs. The existing management team under managing director Jake Adam will continue to run the operation as part of the Recycling Lives Group.

Jake Adam, now managing director at Recycling Lives, said: “The parallels between our two companies makes this a great fit.  When you look at what we do, the culture and the importance that community has to both businesses, it’s clear just how complementary our companies are.”


Recycling Lives was supported by:

  • CMS for legal advice
  • PWC for finance, tax and commercial due diligence support
  • Funding was provided by Three Hills Capital Partners as a shareholder of Recycling Lives

John R. Adam and Sons Ltd was advised by:

  • Johnston Carmichael for financial advice
  • Anderson Strathern for legal advice

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