Magazine article Risk Management

Superfund and Real Estate Transactions

Magazine article Risk Management

Superfund and Real Estate Transactions

Article excerpt

If there is any topic on which business and government are divided--the issue is Superfund. The ramifications of Superfund are far-reaching, affecting everything from the economic recession and industrial space within inner cities to U.S. businesses' ability to compete on a global scale. On area where Superfund has made a significant impact is on real estate transactions. "It has added an area of concern onto every facet of real estate," said Janet Kole, a partner at Cohen, Shapiro, Shiekman and Cohen in Philadelphia at a seminar at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. "It has heightened duties imposed on owners, sellers, buyers and lenders."

Superfund affects business, said Arthur Hedge Jr., vice president of environmental affairs for IBM, by placing an increased burden on companies that are restructuring to compete in the global economy, and by slowing company transactions such as mergers and acquisitions of property. When it comes to strategic alliances, Superfund plays a major role in the decision-making process. "We conduct an intensive investigation of property we acquire or dispose of," he said. "When IBM is considering entering into joint ventures and alliances for strategic reasons, the alliances can be hindered if there is a perceived exposure to liability. …

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