The National Asset Management Agency has agreed to sell a portfolio of loans relating to property developer David Courtney for €200 million to a consortium comprising US investment group Starwood Capital Group, Key Capital in Dublin and UK-based Catalyst Capital.
The portfolio of loans is believed to have had a face value of €810 million, indicating that that the new owners have paid just under 25 cent in the euro for the deal.
However, it is not clear what price Nama paid to acquire these loans from various Irish banks.
This is thought to be the biggest such deal closed out by Nama in Ireland since the loans agency was formed, although it has conducted similar transactions in the UK.
It is understood that the consortium acquiring the loans has retained Mr Courtney to advise it during the period around the transition of ownership. However, Mr Courtney will not be participating in the deal beyond that role.
The Starwood-led consortium has been granted “preferred bidder” status with the deal expected to close shortly.
Called Project Aspen, the portfolio includes the Garda offices at Harcourt Street, four Superquinn stores, an interest in the Dawson Street building used by stockbroker Davy, and sites in the IFSC and Carrickmines Retail Park.
The Superquinn stores involved in the deal are located in Ranelagh, Rathgar and Lucan in Dublin and Waterford. Davy is believed to have signed a new 15-year lease on its Dawson Street offices.
It is understood that Starwood is providing the bulk of the finance for the deal while the portfolio will be managed by Key Capital Real Estate and Catalyst.
Starwood in based in Connecticut and specialises in real-estate investments. Key Capital is an advisory firm based in Dublin led by Conor Killeen.
Catalyst is a property investment company and asset manager. It has more than €5 billion in real estate assets.
Project Aspen comprised 30 commercial property loans that were extended to Mr Courtney by a mix of Irish banks during the property bubble, including Anglo Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland and AIB. Mr Courtney’s loans were extended to Regeneration Developments Ltd.
The sale process had been under way for some months with Nama instructing Eastdil Secured to sell Project Aspen.
US investment group Pimco is believed to have been the underbidder. It was previously reported that from the Reuben brothers and a tie-up between KKR and Delancey had lodged bids earlier in the process.
No comment was available from Nama last night.