Waste management firm Biffa extended the deadline for a potential takeover today as it revealed it had set aside £20m to settle a hefty potential tax bill which has complicated the deal.
The extension came as the firm announced its full year results today, revealing that revenues had jumped 39 per cent to £1.44bn on the previous year when its operations were hit by the pandemic, with pre-tax losses narrowed to £28.6m, down from £52.8m last year.
But bosses said they had set aside £20m as the firm braces for the impact of an enquiry by HMRC over whether it complied with landfill tax requirements, which had previously proved a hiccup in the takeover swoop by US private equity outfit Energy Capital Partners.
The waste manager said today it had now pushed back a deadline for a takeover bid to 30th August, after indicating it was “minded to recommend” a takeover bid of 445p per share in cash to shareholders last month.
Bosses said that trading in the last six months of the year had been buoyed by the acquisition of Viridor, which Biffa snapped up for £126m in September, while wider performance had stayed resilient in the face of inflationary cost pressures, supply chain challenges and driver shortages.
“I am delighted with the progress we have made in the face of another eventful and challenging year,” boss Michael Topham said.
“Not only have we demonstrated the resilience of our business model, resulting in record adjusted operating profits and the reinstatement of the dividend, but we have continued to invest in the infrastructure and services that are essential to the delivery of a circular economy.”
Topham said the firm was now positioning itself to “play a key role” in the transition to a circular economy as the sector adapts.
Shareholders are now in line for a dividend of 4.69p per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 6.89p per share.