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Sims UK to close facilities after fraud inquiry and management changes

Sims Metal Management has said it will discontinue “certain leased facilities” in the UK, following a fraud investigation at its Newport and Long Marston plants.

The announcement was made by the company’s Australian headquarters as part of a financial statement outlining “significant items” affecting its overall value.

The company said as a result of UK restructuring it was downgrading the value of assets and stock by around AUS$115m from its 2013 fiscal results. This figure includes around AUS$20m in facility leases, but it has not confirmed which sites are to be closed.  

The value of current stock has also been downgraded by AUS$45m, in addition to a write-down announced earlier this year when it transpired stock at Newport and Long Marston sites had been overvalued.

The company said its “low value” inventory would be landfilled.

A company statement read: “These provisions relate in part to strategies being implemented to rebase and enhance the ongoing competitive commercial profile of the business by marketing slow moving inventories more quickly and, in other instances, to landfill certain lower value material in the furtherance of operational efficiencies.”

The move has been taken as a direct result of its fraud investigation and recent management changes. In March its European chief executive Graham Davy abruptly left the company.

Fires have been reported at Sims’ Long Marston site over the past few months, involving thousands of tonnes of auto shredder residue.

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