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Business & Economy

Roberts Environmental complete due diligence role in £280m portfolio acquisition

Geo-environmental consultancy Roberts Environmental has completed environmental due diligence on behalf of Singaporean investor Elite Partners Capital to help facilitate its recent purchase of a £280m investment portfolio.

The portfolio of 98 regional offices, which are let to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), was purchased from Telereal Trillium.

The majority of the portfolio’s properties are located in town centre locations with many incorporating an on-site Job Centre Plus.

Newcastle-based Roberts Environmental assessed offices across the North East from Berwick to Hartlepool. The firm’s initial assessments also identified a number of properties located outside of the North East requiring more detailed investigation.

Following site visits to Liverpool, Glasgow and Blackpool, Roberts investigated matters such as active remediation works, the integrity of below-ground fuel tanks and the historical industrial use of several properties.

Roberts provided advice to mitigate certain risks and entered into discussions with the vendors representatives, lawyers and the purchasing fund owners.

Jeff Roberts, managing director at Roberts Environmental, said: “This is a substantial portfolio spanning a huge geographical area. Due to tight timescales, the undertaking of ground investigations at every site was not deemed to be a viable solution. We therefore suggested obtaining environmental insurance which would provide assurances for any ‘problem’ sites. We facilitated introductions to the appropriate broker and the setting up of insurance as a viable solution for ongoing liabilities to the Fund.”

The purchase of the 2.6m sq.ft portfolio was completed in November. The DWP signed 10-year leases on the offices in April this year with the total rental income exceeding £23m.