GVA Bilfinger — Midlands Waste Site Expert Witness Support

GVA Bilfinger are an international real estate consulting and investment management company with a wide range of assets and property types under their management. As part of their service offer GVA Bilfinger offer receivership and restructuring services for creditors of distressed companies. The company was appointed to act as receiver for a composting site in the north midlands whose compliance failings and impending prosecution caused concern with respect to the repayment of outstanding finance, and also to the valuation of the assets against which the finance was secured.

“WRM APPLIED THEIR STRONG TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE AND PERCEPTION OF THE COMMERCIAL CONTEXT TO DELIVER EXPERT WITNESS SUPPORT IN A DISCREET MANNER THAT PROVIDED CONFIDENCE TO THE RECEIVERSHIP MANAGEMENT TEAM”.

Paul Marsh - (Associate) GVA Bilfinger

The Brief

WRM were asked to provide expert witness support to GVA Bilfinger to understand financial liabilities at the site, and to also provide a professional opinion on any required valuation adjustments to the associated farmland which surrounded the composting facility. The assessment made by WRM was done so against the context of multiple environmental permit compliance breaches which has been recorded by the environment Agency over a 10 year period

The solution: To provide a professional opinion on the required financial adjustments to site valuation, WRM designed and deployed a methodology combining site work and sampling with desk based research and analysis.

Site history – the initial work on the project involved research into the history of the site. This included reviewing historical waste data returns, aerial photography of the site, and Compliance Assessment Reports which collectively gave insight into the cause and potential extent of liabilities.

Site visit and waste estimation – one of the apparent liabilities was the accumulation of stockpiled waste that had either been partially processed, processed to an inadequate standard, or produced from screening operations upon receipt at the site. WRM conducted a topographical survey to provide a precise volume estimation, and also made a visual assessment on the grade(s) of material, particularly in respect of onward treatment and disposal routes.

Assessment of farmland contamination – due to the application of off-specification compost to surrounding farmland, WRM undertook sampling to understand the extent of land contamination. This determined that parts of the site were unsuitable for certain crop types as a result of physical soil contaminants.

Valuation adjustment – following the previous tasks, WRM provided a clear and appropriately justified valuation assessment to GVA Bilfinger which informed decisions on their onward management of the site.

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Outcome

The work concluded with GVA Bilfinger marketing the site with the benefit of the value adjustment. The support provided by WRM also facilitated the removal and management of the stockpiled waste from the site prior to the sale completing

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