The corporate finance handbook

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3rd edition

consultant editor

jonathan reuvid
forewords by

sir edward george governor, the bank of england
david irwin chief executive, small business service



Effective Environmental Due Diligence


future unknowns can involve detailed legal solutions in the form of
indemnities, warranties or even insurance. It has therefore become
clear to sophisticated investors that some level of environmental due
diligence is needed for every transaction, even if it is simply an
informed decision that, due to the nature of the business, no further
action is needed to assess potential environmental, health or safety

How is it done?
The environmental due diligence process needs to be bespoke to take
account of the issues that are specific to the business and the type of
transaction. It is also important to ensure that the findings are
disclosed in an appropriate and timely manner so that any risks or
identified costs can be factored into the deal negotiations. It is
therefore preferable to involve environmental advisers at an early
stage in the process in order that this can be facilitated. This will enable
an initial evaluation of environmental risks facing the business to be
made, based on a review of data room information or information that
is publicly available. From this initial evaluation any major issues that
could be deal-stoppers can be identified and proposals for the
contractual due diligence can be established. It is important to
remember at the outset that different parties involved in the deal will
have differing requirements from the due diligence process. These
requirements need to be considered at an early stage so that all the
relevant issues are addressed adequately for those concerned.
To ensure that the contractual due diligence process is undertaken
as efficiently as possible, the RPS typically recommends a staged
approach comprising:



A desk study to investigate the site history and environmental setting
of the site, with recommendations for a full ‘Phase I’ assessment if a
contaminated land use or sensitive setting are identified.
Phase I assessment including a visual inspection of the site, discussions with facility management and environmental regulators, and
a review of documents and records.
Phase II investigations such as soil and groundwater investigations,
asbestos surveys or health and safet...
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