Redeem gets £15m boost from rival buy


Evirofone acquisition to increase recycled handsets by 37,000 per month 

Redeem Holdings last week completed the acquisition of rival recycler Envirofone for an undisclosed fee.

The deal, according to Scottish firm Redeem, will add more than £15 million to its annual turnover – last reported as £32.4 million, year to end-March 2012 – as well as boost its recycled numbers from 150,000 handsets per month to  187,000 – a 37,000 rise.

Macclesfield-based Envirofone, which also trades as Eazyfone, claims to have paid out to more than 3.5 million customers since its incorporation in 2005. Its financial reports are not public.

Redeem CEO Claes Svensson (pictured), who joined in 2012, confirmed  the Envirofone brand, which is present in both the UK and parts of Europe including Holland and Sweden, will remain, as will its Macclesfield offices. All 50 existing staff will also be kept on.

Svensson said: “It’s a significant step forward for both businesses. Envirofone’s consumer platform has become a trusted brand over the past 10 years and this is something we’ll look to develop throughout the entire group. We have no intention to rebrand the business.”

Key partners
Redeem is one of the UK’s largest recycling firms, employing more than 250 staff. It has operations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas, with offices in the UK, Estonia, Sweden, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.

Key partners include TicketMaster, British Gas, Tesco and Amazon.

It also provided a white-label service for O2, “O2 Recycle”, which launched in 2009 and has so far paid out more than £62 million to customers, including £24 million last year.

Svensson said the addition of Envirofone will help increase its white-label partnerships and Redeem will look to break into new markets such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

“We are hunting partnerships with other operators throughout Europe and will invest in Envirofone by appointing more staff and expanding overseas.”

The average recycle value of a handset has quadrupled from £20 to £108 in the past four years.

There are an estimated 124.5 million unused handsets in the UK.