Nama sells largest portfolio of assets

The preferred bidders on Nama’s largest ever portfolio of assets will pay more than the speculated sale price but significantly less than the face value of the assets.

The Project Jewel portfolio has been acquired for €1.85bn, some €450m more than had been estimated in a number of previous reports.

The face value of the portfolio of loans, which include those associated with the Dundrum Town Centre and a host of other retail assets in the capital is €2.57bn.

Details of how much Nama paid for the loans initially has not been disclosed, making it difficult to ascertain how good a deal the sale is for the taxpayer.

“We are very pleased with the successful outcome of this competitive loan sale which represents Nama’s biggest single transaction to date,” said Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh.

“The competitive tension throughout the loan sales process is continuing evidence of the strong investor appetite for property-related loans in Ireland.”

The joint venture gives Hammerson and Allianz a 50% share each in the centrepiece of the portfolio, Dundrum Town Centre as well as a planned extension known as Dundrum Phase 2.

Hammerson will also assume control of Project Jewel’s other assets, which include a 50% share in the Ilac Centre on Henry St, a 50% stake in the Pavilions Shopping Centre in Swords, and full ownership of a development site in the city centre.

The 5.3-acre Dublin Central Development site, described by Hammerson as one of the best-positioned urban retail development sites in Europe, is located adjacent to the Ilac Centre just off O’Connell St.

The UK company’s total consideration is €1.23bn which it will fund from existing financial resources and a new €1bn revolving credit facility with maturity up to March 2017. Allianz’s investment amounts to €900m.

“Our investment into Project Jewel is an important step to a further diversification of Allianz´s real estate portfolio,” said Allianz Real Estate Germany chief executive, Annette Kroger.

“It is a very attractive opportunity to get exposure to the dynamic Irish market. We are pleased to co-operate again with Hammerson as our JV partner.”

A sum equalling 10% of the purchase price will be paid by Hammerson and Allianz this week with the remainder expected to be paid by the end of October.

Project Jewel is made up of loans related to developer Joe O’Reilly and his company Chartered Land, one of Nama’s biggest debtors.

Among Nama’s sales yet to come is the €8.4bn non-performing loan portfolio Project Arrow, the sale of which Independent TD Mick Wallace called to be halted earlier this year when requesting an independent review of the agency.


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