Insight - 22 June 2022

Insight – The impact of ESG on Asset Valuations

ESG policies adopted by Lenders, Equity Investors and Corporations are having tangible affects on business activities in the Australian market and Hilco’s analysis of assets.

A company’s ESG rating and performance has a direct flow-on effect to investor interest and on Hilco’s analysis of assets. As experts in asset valuations, Hilco Global has seen this first-hand.

Ben Roden

In this article, Hilco Global – experts in complex asset valuations & diligence services – explores how ESG is shaping the approach to lending and investing and our analysis of assets.


Mining and Coal in particular are a clear example. Tier 1 Lenders are exiting this market forcing Corporations within the industry to seek alternate funding arrangements which inevitably increases its borrowing costs and survivability. Alternate Lenders are the beneficiaries enjoying the custom of new Mining and Coal industry clients.

Some industries are however benefiting as Tier 1 Lenders are providing for interest rate deductions if key ESG metrics are met.

Equity & Capital Investment

ESG is restricting investment. If we consider Coal again, equity investors at all levels have been restricting capital investment within the industry whether it is hesitancy by a Corporation to reinvest CAPEX in its own business, or Superannuation funds imposing an industry veto or a lack of interest from Private Equity due to fears of diminished returns, losses or inability to exit. A result of this hesitation to invest in coal is operational managers needing to increase variable costs. Contract services and the hire industry are benefiting from this shift, ultimately however the industry is following a declining trajectory.

Asset Choices

ESG policies are changing preferred asset choices by Corporations and placing realisation of current assets at risk. For example, a move to newer technologies like electric fleets, driverless fleets and renewable energy sources, can have the effect of reducing market interest in older technology. The risk is not high for most as tangible assets age and tend to be used for its economic life. It does however factor into decisions of asset based lenders or become a problem if wanting to sell redundant assets or forced to sell assets, with this inherent obsolescence, into the resulting diminished market. Timing and the prevailing economic environment will be a critical factor.

Consumer Sentiment

Within the consumer markets ESG sentiment can have dramatic consequences for inventory/product sell through and leave production assets stranded. Newer Coal fired power stations may end up being a prime example of this. Again, timing is everything.


All stakeholders are keen to avoid stranded assets resulting from a dramatic shift in market sentiment due to ESG considerations, whether it be consumers, business or Government buyers driving the change. ESG considerations are therefore triggering refinancing activities, restricting equity investment and changing asset choices, and in turn placing balance sheet assets under increased scrutiny from an ESG lens.

Hilco’s deep understanding of assets on the balance sheet and industry ESG drivers is supporting our clients in this changing environment.


Contact our APAC Valuations & Diligence Services Specialists

Published: Hilco APAC