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New Chinese takeover expected

The growing interest in the European recycling market by Chinese investors is set to be emphasised by an acquisition, according to the new chief executive of Liberty Metal Recycling.

The prediction came from Tom Bird at the Amsterdam convention of the Bureau of International Recycling.

“An interesting development in the recycling market in Europe has been the interest shown by Chinese companies in certain businesses,” he said.

“It is a development to keep an eye on because we hear rumours of companies taking a further interest in another European company that will become apparent in the not-too-distant future.”

Recent financial developments include:

  • Investment fund Chengdu Qinhua Technology partnering with Alba, the Berlin-based waste management group
  • China Everbright International acquiring major Polish waste management firm Novago
  • Actividades de Construcción y Servicios, the Spanish construction and services firm that owns Urbaser, being sold to Chinese-controlled Firion Investments
  • An aborted attempt to buy Biffa by a Chinese company before it was listed on the stock market

Meanwhile, looking at the current ferrous market, Bird said November should see a significant increase across all EU member states.

“The recent reduction in Chinese exports and a spike in coking prices will lead to further pressure and increase in the price of scrap,” he said.

“The final quarter of 2016 will see prices moving in a wider range and, with the onset of winter and continued healthy demand from the steel sectors, there is no reason not to believe that we shouldn’t see a stronger market for the rest of the year.”

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