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Cory sells landfill business

Cory has sold its UK landfill and gas arm to reinsurance firm Armour Group Holdings for an undisclosed sum.

Armour bought the business, which comprises 13 landfill sites with around 60MW of electricity generation capacity, in a deal that closed on 10 January but was not publicly announced.

The division reported revenues of £47m for the year ending 2015. It was sold to one of 10 bidders in a competitive auction that ran over three rounds.

Cory chief executive Nicholas Pollard (pictured) said he found the breadth of interest expressed in the landfill business “exciting”.

“Conventional wisdom was that it would only ever be trade interest. Trade interest had waned because people realised that landfills are planning to close down over the course of the coming years,” he said.

“We were encouraged that it was a wide community that responded to our initial enquiry as to whether they would be interested.”

Cory’s previous owners – Eiser Infrastructure, Finpro, Capital Riesgo Global and Santander – sold the company to its creditors in August 2015. This is the third sale of parts of the business in the past six months.

In June 2016, the company sold Cory Environmental Municipal Services, its municipal and industrial and commercial waste collection arm, to Biffa for £24.1m.

A month later, it agreed to sell its brokerage businesses, including various skip hire companies, to Reconomy, a provider of outsourced waste management services.

Following the landfill business sale, the Cory Group is focused on its remaining business, now called Cory Riverside Energy, which owns the Riverside Resource Recovery energy-from-waste facility at Belvedere, south-east London.

Distressed asset fund SVP Global is the group’s majority shareholder, alongside private equity investor EQT and banks including Commerzbank and Barclays.

There has been some reports that the owners might now look to sell the remaining business, but Pollard said this is “purely speculation”.

“There is no current plan to sell that business, but any business any time is always available for sale. It is the nature of corporate commerce,” he said. “Were our shareholders wanting to make a move in that direction they would make a suitable announcement.”

Slaughter and May, Deloitte and PwC advised Cory on the sale to Armour, which was represented by King & Spalding.

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