A North East geo-environmental firm has played a key part in the first pound-denominated REIT to launch on the Singaporean stock exchange.

Roberts Environmental has provided due diligence for Elite Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust, which purchased a national £282m portfolio of UK government let offices from Telereal Trillium in 2018. A number of the properties are based in the North East.

Jeff Roberts, managing director at Roberts Environmental, said: “This project perfectly showcases our versatility as a firm and displays our remit which spans from local SMEs to international organisations.

“We were delighted to provide due diligence as part of such a significant portfolio which has brought investment to our national economy. The portfolio spans a large geographical area and required us to work efficiently to meet deadlines. For the sites which we couldn’t visit, solutions needed to be organised in order to allow the fund to be prepared for future obligations.”

Roberts Environmental undertook matters such as active remediation works, the integrity of below-ground fuel tanks and the historical industrial use of several properties including offices across the North East from Berwick to Hartlepool. The works were followed by advice to mitigate certain risks, entering into discussions with the vendors representatives, lawyers and the purchasing fund owners.

Shaldine Wang, chief executive officer, Elite Commercial REIT Management Pte. Ltd said: “Roberts Environmental has consistently delivered quality and commercial advice. The team is efficient and professional, we look forward to continuing our relationship well into the future”.

The group has an initial portfolio of 97 UK buildings spread over 2.6m sq ft with over 99% of the REIT’s gross rental income derived from leases with the UK government’s Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The acquisition was the first significant transaction by the private equity firm’s Elite UK Commercial Fund, which was set up to focus on UK real estate. The fund said at the time of completing the deal it had raised £120m in equity and mezzanine funding from more than a dozen institutional investors, family offices and ultra-high net worth individuals.