Sale of €7.3 billion IBRC loan portfolio concluded

Among the loans acquired are those related to Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne’s health chain

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan welcomed completion of the deal

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan welcomed completion of the deal

Wed, Feb 26, 2014, 17:12

The sale of a portfolio of IBRC loans valued at about €7 billion has been completed, the special liquidators of the former Anglo Irish Bank said today.

Projects Rock and Salt comprises mostly commercial real estate loans written through the UK branch and British subsidiaries of IBRC with a combined par value of approximately €7.3 billion.

Lone Star bought 85 per cent of loans in Project Rock and Salt with a consortium of Sankaty Advisors, LLC / Canyon Capital Advisors LLC buying most of the remainder.

Lone Star is understood to have paid between €3.65 billion and €4.86 billion to acquire loans with a face-value of €6.68 billion, making it the single biggest deal since Anglo was nationalised in 2009.

In total Lone Star has taken control of 300 borrower connections or 1300 individual loans relating to 1,500 assets. About 75 per of the loans relate to the UK with the remainder in Germany and the United States.

Among the loans Lone Star acquired are those related to Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne’s health chain Bannatyne Fitness and two large British hotel groups - Somerston Hotels and Puma Hotels. Finance to Lone Star was provided by Citi, RBC and Well Fargo.

Subject to legal completion, none of the IBRC loan assets within these books are expected to transfer to The National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

“I am extremely pleased with the progress made by the Special Liquidators to date in relation to the disposal of assets in IBRC,” said Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in a statement.

“The sale of this entire portfolio on top of the success of the Project Evergreen sale late last year will considerably reduce the amount of assets that are now expected to transfer to Nama and bodes well for the ultimate success of the liquidation,” he added.

The sales processes for the remaining portfolios in IBRC are on-going and are expected to be concluded shortly, Mr Noonan said.

The remaining books include Project Sand, comprising mostly mortgage loans with a par value of approximately €1.8 billion and 12,700 mortgages accounts; Project Stone, comprising mostly commercial real estate loans originated through the Irish offices of IBRC with a par value of approximately € 9.3 billion; and Project Pebble, a further portfolio of commercial real estate loans originated through the Irish offices of IBRC with a par loan value of approximately €800 million.