Dentons US, LLP
Jessica L. Duggan, Kevin P. Kamraczewski and Stephen M. Fields
February 20, 2014
After looking at numerous investment opportunities, you bite the bullet, assemble a syndicate of lenders and close on a leveraged buyout transaction resulting in control of the operating company target through the use of a holding company. You were careful in your diligence, having conducted a Phase I environmental investigation, with nothing significantly adverse to report despite the regular use in its business by the target of certain contaminants. Now fast forward, and, five years later, you have received an attractive offer to buy your interest from a strategic buyer. The buyer and its lenders proceed to conduct their own due diligence and, lo and behold, the contamination levels that were previously below reportable levels have, according to the buyer, exceeded permissible levels and have now reached groundwater. What is the consequence of this? How did it happen? Who caused it? What are the issues?