Viridor, which has interests across Scotland, has been acquired by global investment firm KKR for £4.2 billion, it said today.

Viridor is one of the UK’s largest recycling companies and runs a specialist glass recycling plant at Newhouse, near Glasgow, an advanced recycling facility at Bargeddie, an energy recovery facility at Dunbar and the company operates the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre for Glasgow City Council.

Phil Piddington, who has been Viridor’s managing director since 2016, assumes the role of chief executive.

He said KKR recognised the "strategic value of Viridor’s UK recycling and residual waste management platform and growth opportunities linked to a significant UK capacity gap in recycling and reprocessing infrastructure and energy recovery technology".

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Tara Courtney Davies, KKR’s head of European infrastructure, said: “We see enormous potential for Viridor as a standalone business.

"The company is already a sector leader with a strong platform and an experienced management team. With KKR’s support, Viridor is uniquely positioned to invest further and continue to build critical infrastructure, helping the UK meet long-term sustainability and environmental goals.”

Viridor also announced the appointment of Ian Wakelin as chairman of the company. Mr Wakelin is former chief executive Officer of Biffa plc.

He said: “Viridor is clearly well-positioned to continue to deliver excellent growth and this is enhanced by the investment from KKR, a group which values infrastructure development. Viridor has a clear strategy based on market demand and a real understanding of the challenges and opportunities in this sector based on years of experience.”

Mr Piddington added that Viridor would continue to advance its plans for future growth with infrastructure investments backed by long-term contracts.

He said: “As a complete waste and resource management company working across the UK, we are keenly aware of exactly where the capacity gap exists. We are confident that we are best placed to deliver the environmental ambitions of the UK and its devolved administrations, especially where these focus on green recovery, jobs, innovation and infrastructure.”

It is also creating the Ford Energy Recovery Facility, a Viridor joint venture with Grundon, which is part of a £252m energy recovery facility and a £65m investment in plastics reprocessing plant, the UK’s biggest multi-polymer facility, in Avonmouth.

Tourists travelling to Scotland from Spain will have to continue to quarantine, Nicola Sturgeon said as she rejected some countries on the UK Government's list of air bridges.

The First Minister said the 14-day quarantine restriction will be lifted on July 10 for people returning or visiting from 39 countries with a low prevalence of Covid-19, including Germany, Norway and Malta.

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Other countries which have a lower or not significantly higher prevalence of the virus than Scotland - including France, Greece, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland - will also be included on the list.

But she said the restriction will not be lifted for Spain or Serbia.

Ms Sturgeon said the "difficult decision" had been driven by the evidence.

"I know how many people from Scotland enjoy travelling to Spain and I know how much we love welcoming Spanish tourists," she said. "My hope is these restrictions can be relaxed soon, and possibly very soon."

Liz Cameron, chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “Businesses across Scotland will be relieved that we now know which countries tourists will be able to travel to without having to go into quarantine.

"This will enable our travel and tourism industry to start taking bookings once again.

“We are pleased to see the list of countries are broadly aligned with the UK Government and we appreciate the rationale presented as to why Spain is not currently included.

"We are reassured by the First Minister's commitment to keep this under daily review in an attempt to identify additional mitigation measures which could be adopted quickly."

She added: "We need to see Spain added to the list safely and quickly, not only for the aviation and tourism industry but also for moving freight and exports.

“Spain is an important market for Scotland and figures from VisitScotland showed visitors from Spain spent just under £80m in 2018. Business has the expertise to work with government to identify and implement additional mitigation measures to enable the restart of this important tourist and trade route, especially during the peak summer period.”

Guarantor lender Amigo has called back former chief Glen Crawford in a bid to turn around its fortunes.

Shares jumped higher after it announced the return of Mr Crawford, who stepped down in April last year due to medical reasons.

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It comes as the company remains in a dispute with its millionaire founder, James Benamor, who had called for Amigo to axe its previous leadership team.

This led to the resignation of previous chief executive Hamish Paton last month, while chairman Stephan Wilcke was also replaced.

Acting chairman Roger Lovering said: "I am delighted that Glen has decided to rejoin the company."

Shares moved 23% higher at 13.16p.

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