Nama spent €9m on Project Eagle consultants

Dáil correspondence reveals agency’s spending during sale of North loan portfolio

Nama chair  Frank Daly at Leinster House in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Nama chair Frank Daly at Leinster House in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

The National Assets Management Agency (Nama) spent just in excess of €9 million on consultancy fees during the sale process for the Project Eagle portfolio of Northern Ireland properties.

Correspondence sent by Nama to the Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) disclosed that the agency spent €9.05 million in fees to 44 companies, including prominent financial, legal and property players, during the disposal of the portfolio.

The 800-property loan portfolio was sold for €1.2 billion.

The correspondence also indicates for the first time that Nama has generated a profit of more than €1 billion to date in its disposal of underlying collateral and loans.

The agency has said it expects to make a profit of €1.75 billion by the time it winds up in 2020.

Following the appearance of Nama chairman Frank Daly and the agency’s chief executive Brendan McDonagh at a PAC hearing last month, committee chairman John McGuinness requested it provide further information.

In a 24-page document, it listed the consultant fees paid during the disposal.

The largest fee, at almost €5.5 million, was paid to the international financial consultants Lazard.

The international law firm Hogan Lovells was paid €1.846 million.


Law firm Arthur Cox (NI) was paid €264,000, while PricewaterhouseCoopers was paid €227,000.

Among the other companies paid six figure sums were: Capita Asset Services (€223,000); Belfast law firm John McKee and Son (€132,000); auctioneers Savills (€114,000) and Keenan Corporate Finance (€100,000).

A total of 15 companies each received fees of €10,000 or less.

Residential properties

The agency also gave a breakdown to the PAC of nearly 9,000 residential properties that remain in Nama’s portfolio.

Of the homes, just in excess of 6,000 are apartments and nearly 3,000 are houses.

Almost one in five (550) of the houses are unfinished.

More than 160 of these houses are in Cork city and county, with only 60 unfinished houses in Dublin.

Almost half of the 93 houses in Co Roscommon in the Nama portfolio are unfinished.

Only 9 per cent, or 556, of the apartments in the portfolio are unfinished.

However, in Co Meath, 71 of the 97 apartments have not been completed, while in south Dublin there are 206 unfinished apartments.

There is a big disparity between occupancy in completed houses and apartments.

Occupancy in apartments is running at more than 90 per cent (5,019) while only 67 per cent of the houses (1,601) are occupied.

Occupancy for houses is a particular problem in Co Cork, where the Nama portfolio has almost 200 vacant completed houses.

In Co Roscommon, all 53 completed houses are vacant, while in Co Leitrim only one of the 34 houses on Nama’s books is occupied.