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WASTE MANAGEMENT COMPANY IN TAKEOVER TALKS

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Shanks, Britain's last independent waste management company, has received an informal takeover approach likely to v...
Shanks, Britain's last independent waste management company, has received an informal takeover approach likely to value the business at more than £300m, reported The Business (p3).

According to industry sources, bid talks are at an early stage, but are likely to gather pace after chancellor Gordon Brown's pre-Budget statement on Wednesday which is expected to foreshadow an increase in the landfill levy. Shanks has long been regarded as a prime target in a sector undergoing huge consolidation as landfill values soar with tighter regulation and rising costs of environmental compliance.

Any bid is likely to spark counter-offers because of Shanks's strong position across Britain, growing involvement in power generation through waste incineration, as well as its growing presence in Europe. Earlier this year, Waste Recycling, a London-listed company, was acquired by venture capital firm Terra Firma in a deal worth about £500m, leaving Shanks as the last quoted business of its kind in the UK.

Mr Brown is expected to double the level of landfill tax to £26 a ton to stimulate more recycling.
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