Special companies used by vulture funds to hold Irish loans

Goldman Sachs-linked firm has been buying property loans from the State and banks

The Goldman Sachs company linked to a controversy over evictions in a Dublin estate is one of a group of firms used by investment funds to hold Irish assets bought in the wake of the financial crash.

Recently tenants in Cruise Park, Tyrrelstown, were told they must leave or buy their homes, which the landlord, European Property Fund, is selling to pay off debt due to the Goldman Sachs-controlled Beltany Property Finance.

Beltany is one of a range of special-purpose companies set up by Dublin-based Structured Finance Management Ireland (SFM), on behalf of Goldman and other investors such as Carval and Cerberus, that have been buying property loans from the State and the banks since late 2012.

Between 2014 and 2015 Beltany spent more than €750 million buying property debts from Ulster Bank, the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation and Danske Bank.


Property fund

Among them was €89 million due from the European Property Fund and secured against the Tyrrelstown development. Neither Beltany nor Goldman have any involvement with the tenants.

SFM also set up 14 such special-purpose vehicles for Cerberus, including Promontoria Eagle, which the US investor used to buy Nama’s Northern Ireland loans in a controversial €1.6 billion deal.

It administers the companies on behalf of the investment funds and enforces liabilities where necessary. Records show that Beltany and other SFM-linked vehicles have gone to court to enforce debts.

SFM is part of London-based Structured Finance Management Europe, which provides corporate services in financial centres around the world. Larger rival Elian recently bought the entire group.

The Irish company’s managing director is former banking professional Karen McCrave.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

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