Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Part IV - Purchase of business assets including real property - After-treatment measure responsibility under the Swedish Environmental Code

Considerations in connection with the purchase of the business assets including real property of a Swedish company

  • If you purchase the business assets of a company and that purchase includes real property, you have also acquired the risk of being liable for any necessary clean-up and after-treatment measures; provided that the company conducting the environmentally hazardous activities causing the pollution is not able to pay for these measures. However, if you did not know or should not know of the pollution you are free of the responsibility.

  • If we assume that the seller did not inform you of any pollution and even if he guaranteed that the real property was free from pollution, you, as a purchaser, may have acquired liability, because you ought to have known.

  • It is a general principle in Swedish law that as a purchaser of real property, you have an obligation to investigate the real property thoroughly. You are not able to claim that you should be entitled to rescind the purchase contract nor to compensation for “hidden defects”, if such defects would have been possible to find at a competent investigation of the real property prior to the purchase. The same principle may be said to apply also to pollution.

To be continued

No comments: