Nama says no data given to advisers

Nama challenges claims its Northern advisers were given confidential information before sale of Project Eagle loans

Nama has written to the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee challenging claims that the agency's Northern Ireland advisers were given commercial and confidential information before the €1.6 billion sale of its Project Eagle loans.

Nama insists that members of its Northern Ireland advisory committee (NIAC) received no commercially sensitive or confidential information before the controversial sale of the loans to US company Cerberus in April 2014.

However, former NIAC member Brian Rowntree told the Public Accounts Committee that members saw details of a report that included information on assets controlled by Nama and other banks in Northern Ireland, which he regarded as both commercial and confidential.

The State agency's head of public affairs, Martin Whelan, has written to the Dáil committee saying that the report, prepared by academics from the University of Ulster, includes no "debtor-specific or asset-specific information nor does it include Nama valuations".


Payment agreement

The Project Eagle sale has been the focus of several investigations since it emerged that one of the bidders for the loans, US investor Pimco, agreed to pay £5 million to another NIAC member,

Frank Cushnahan

, if it succeeded in buying the assets.

In evidence that appeared to contradict Nama's position and that of its chairman, Frank Daly, Mr Rowntree told the committee that in 2013, the NIAC discussed the university report, which included information such as planning permission, housing demand and some estimates of values.

He said the information would have been useful to any potential buyer of Project Eagle, the name given to Nama’s Northern Ireland- linked loans, because it gave a clear indication of the value of the land used both to secure those debts and liabilities due to other banks.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas