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Phone recyler Redeem buys Spanish firms

Redeem Holdings, the West Lothian-based recycling group, has acquired two Spanish companies from the same owner as a platform for further growth in Europe.

Already the UK's biggest recycler of mobile phones and operating in 22 countries, the Bathgate-based group says the acquisitions will add repair and logistics capabilities to the group, and enable it to roll out new services across Europe.

The acquired businesses, both based in Madrid, are Eco Mobile Green Centre SL (trading as Mobilepoint) and Insitu Moviles SL.

Claes Svensson, chief executive of Redeem Group, said: "The acquisitions of Mobilepoint and Insitu Moviles take Redeem further into Europe, by building our recycling and repair capabilities and providing access to major contracts with Spanish mobile network operators and large corporates."

Mr Svensson went on: "Spain is a growing market for electronic devices. These latest acquisitions will allow us to give Spanish customers enhanced opportunities to trade up to the latest technology by obtaining the optimum value for their used devices.

"Mobilepoint and Insitu Moviles provide Redeem with the perfect platform to roll out new services into the Spanish market allowing us to replicate the success we have achieved in other markets across Europe."

Alfonso Gil, seller of both companies, said Redeem's business model added value to mobile network operators, retailers, and their customers. He said: "The customers get top prices for traded-in mobile devices.

"The operators and retailers benefit from Redeem's ability to extract the best value from the sales of the refurbished phones.

"We are looking forward to helping Redeem grow the business in Spain."

Founded in 1999, Redeem was sold three years ago in a multi-million pound deal to a management buy-in, which is now headed by former Sony Ericsson executive Mr Svensson. Last year it snapped up UPR Global to give it sites in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and earlier this year picked up Eazyfone, which trades as Envirofone, one of the two big players in the direct-to-consumer market and employing 50 people in Cheshire.

Redeem is now a global leader in the re-commerce, recycling and refurbishing of electronic devices for mobile network operators, retailers and corporates.

Around 95 per cent of the traded-in devices Redeem handles are data-wiped, refurbished and resold. The five per cent that cannot be restored are fully recycled, leading to zero waste going to landfill.

Redeem's last annual accounts show turnover from continuing operations up from £28.8m to £34.8m in the 12 months to March 2013.

A pre-tax loss of £1.2m, compared to profits of £280,000, was attributed to major investment and repositioning of the business which included the disposal of its printer cartridge recycling arm.

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