US company Cerberus has appointed receivers to Ballybay Estates, one of the companies whose debts it bought through the National Asset Management Agency's Project Eagle sale, to recover a €7 million loan.
New York-based Cerberus Capital Management’s €1.6 billion purchase of the Project Eagle loans is caught in a row over claims that a number of Belfast political and business figures were to receive payment as a result of the deal. The company itself denies any wrongdoing.
Official documents just filed show Cerberus recently appointed Jon Anderson and Andrew Lennon of Colliers International in Belfast to Ballybay Estates in Tullow, Co Carlow.
Promontoria Eagle, the Irish subsidiary used by Cerberus to buy Project Eagle, appointed the receivers on foot of a €7 million loan, originally given by Bank of Ireland, that is secured against the company's main asset, a site in Rathoe, Co Carlow.
The company has planning permission for 33 new houses and some commercial buildings on the 10-hectare site, which it bought with the aid of the Bank of Ireland loan. Accounts show that by June last year Ballybay valued the property at €1 million.
Developers Desmond Wilson and Ashley Moore own Ballybay Estates. In 2011, Bank of Ireland transferred the company's loan to Nama, which sold it to Cerberus last year as part of Project Eagle sale.
That auction concerned loans and borrowers linked to Northern Ireland. Ballybay Estates's filings say Bank of Ireland, Donegall Square, Belfast, has security over its assets.
Ballybay is not the first borrower against which Cerberus has taken action. Businessman Gareth Graham, whose property group's loans were part of Project Eagle, recently succeeded in halting the sale of one Belfast property by administrators appointed to his companies.
Many of the larger Project Eagle creditors have refinanced their loans with another US firm, Jefferies LoanCore, which means they have cleared their liabilities to Cerberus.
At the weekend, Cerberus confirmed it had reached agreements with borrowers responsible for 96 per cent of the €6 billion worth of unpaid loans it had acquired as a result of the deal.