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Ashfords aids landmark PPP deal

Leading south west solicitors Ashfords has helped establish the first Public Private Partnership (PPP) deal of its kind in the UK waste industry.

The firm supported Pennon Group as its subsidiary Viridor Waste Management (VWM) completed a ground-breaking PPP with Somerset County Council (SCC) which also saw it acquiring Wyvern Waste Services.

Wyvern, the waste disposal company established by SCC in 1992 passes to VWM for £25 million in the PPP deal that involves a long-term services contract for the provision of household waste recycling centre operations, composting, landfilling, delivery points and transportation of waste in the county.

Ashfords associate Ruth Murray said: “We were delighted to act for Viridor on this innovative waste management PPP. Local authorities are under increasing pressure to consolidate their waste management arrangements in order to meet the targets set by the EU Landfill Directive.

“This project represents a positive move forward in achieving a contractual structure which has accommodated and overcome some of the complexities and difficulties faced over recent years in the delivery of waste management projects.”

The deal also includes a long-term strategic partnering agreement under which Viridor will provide SCC with strategic support and assistance in the development of its waste strategy, along with the development of future waste projects, plus a project agreement for the design, build, finance and operation of a new waste treatment facility.

Murray advised on the PPP aspects of the transaction, while fellow associate Annelie Joyce advised on the corporate aspects of the acquisition of Wyvern Waste Services.

Commenting on the project, VWM chief executive Colin Drummond said: “This acquisition fits very well with VWMs strategy of expanding its landfill, power generation and long term integrated municipal contract businesses in key regions of the UK.”


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