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Revenue & Customs’ tax probe could hit £1.2bn bid for Biffa

Waste firm Biffa’s £1.2bn takeover could be thrown into doubt by HMRC landfill tax investigation

The £1.2billion takeover of Biffa could be thrown into doubt by a landfill tax investigation. 

Revenue & Customs is looking into the waste firm’s accounts, which could result in a £168million bill. 

The FTSE250 company’s accounts show it has so far set aside only £20million for this. 

Scrutiny: Revenue & Customs is looking into Biffa’s accounts, which could result in a £168million bill

The investigation could also complicate a bid by Energy Capital Partners. 

A City tax source said: ‘Any buyer is not going to like the prospect of paying out £168million. They will undoubtedly want a really intensive detailed discussion around that.’ 

Biffa’s latest market update said the maximum liability had risen by £15million from £153million, while the minimum was £170,000. 

No formal claim for tax has yet been lodged against Biffa, but accountant Ernst & Young has been drafted in to advise the company. 

Biffa has said it believes it has a ‘strong defence’. 

Biffa was contacted for comment.

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