Property valuation and sale – Touchwood (Devon) Ltd – In Liquidation

Asset Class:  Property (Freehold) | Plant – Photovoltaic and Biomass installations


Acting on behalf of : Neil Maddocks, Joint Liquidator –


The Brief

In May 2020 (during the first Covid 19 lockdown) PACT were instructed to provide the Liquidator of Touchwood (Devon) Ltd with a valuation of the company’s freehold premises located on the Marsh Barton Industrial Estate, Exeter.  The property comprised a large industrial unit totalling some 27,000 Sq Ft which had been converted for the manufacture of bespoke kitchens.  Further improvements included the installation of a 50 KW photovoltaic installation together with a biomass boiler registered under the government Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.

Our brief was to value the property, and when instructed to sell, maximise the value of not only the building but the energy saving improvements.

The challenge:

•  Instructions were received during the first period of Covid-19 lockdown and it was not possible to undertake an inspection.

•  Preparing valuations in the middle of a worldwide pandemic when market conditions are uncertain and previous market data unreliable.

•  Obtaining all necessary information to make an appraisal of the photovoltaic and biomass boiler installations and answering the fundamental question “What are they worth?”

•  Marketing the property in the middle of a pandemic, undertaking viewings and implementing social distancing and Covid Secure practices at all times

•  Early interest and the wide ‘range’ of initial offers highlighted the extent of market nervousness and uncertainty


The Solution / Actions taken

•  It was agreed with the client that the valuation of the property would be undertaken on a desktop basis incorporating the RICS Material Uncertainty Clause. The valuation was established using a variety of evidence including a drive-by and by searching available data online including The Land Registry, Rateable Values, Google Maps, Ofgem, Government Feed in Tariff information and previous sales data enabling an informed appraisal to reflect the type, age and location of the building.

•  Local agents, Vickery Hollman, were appointed as joint agents to assist with the property marketing. Property particulars were produced and the property was brought to the market by the end of June 2020.

•  A number of covid secure viewings were arranged at the property and a reasonable level of interest was generated. The broad range of the initial offers received were reflective of market uncertainty at the time. (Varying from £450,000-£700,00)

•  Due the variety of interest and varied range in offers received best offers were sought. A sale was eventually agreed to Premier DGU, conditional to a very tight timescale of 4 weeks to completion and subject to the property being cleared and the removal of items of third party plant. The purchaser had no use for the biomass boiler and terms were negotiated for its exclusion from the property sale.

•  PACT produced a detailed photographic schedule of works and monitored activities to secure satisfactory completion within the restricted timescales and managed all stakeholder interests.


Plant & equipment including Biomass Boiler and RHI
•  Ofgem were contacted and confirmation sought that the boiler could be sold and relocated while retaining the payments under the RHI scheme.

•  The building was cleared of all contents and parts of the heating system dismantled for sale at a later date while it was agreed the boiler could remain in-situ until a sale was agreed.

•  Opus Energy, the purchaser of renewable electricity produced by the solar installation, were contacted and arrangements made to novate the Feed In tariff agreement to the purchasers

The Outcome

By taking a proactive approach throughout the instruction and by working closely with all stakeholders the sale completed within the agreed timetable, asset values maximised and all stakeholders’ interests protected.

Our client and other stakeholders including the liquidator, lending bank, and former directors could be confident everything had been done to maximise the value of the property while looking to add value by selling the biomass boiler separately complete with the benefit of the RHI payments.

•  The sale of the building was completed within 3 months of receiving instructions to market.
•  The building was cleared to the satisfaction of incoming owner-occupier and the boiler retained for sale at a later date.
•  A substantial offer was received for the boiler adding to the overall realisations.

Due to the very tight timescale and difficulty of obtaining information, as a result of the pandemic, PACT’s active, hands-on approach meant deadlines were met and realisations maximised.


Chris Price, RICS registered property valuer and commercial asset auctioneer, has over 30 years experience in the corporate recovery and auction sector.
His unique, combined property & chattel auction expertise ensures your project
is in capable hands and guaranteed to achieve the best outcomes

Call Chris today to discuss your requirements : 0117 456 8775


t: 0117 456 8775 | m: 07979 541215