Business Irish

Monday 24 April 2017

Anglo stalls sale of UK and Irish loan books until markets improve

BANKING

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

DEVELOPMENTS on the sale of Anglo Irish Bank's UK and Irish loan books are "not imminent" and the bank will only proceed with disposals "when markets are favourable", chief executive Mike Aynsley has told his staff.

Mr Aynsley also told colleagues that the bank would not be making a decision on whether to sell its wealth management business until December, but that the sale of its $9.5bn US loan book was "approaching resolution".

The comments came in an email address to all staff sent last Friday, a week before Anglo formally switches to its new name, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

At the end of September, Anglo chairman Alan Dukes told reporters the bank would ramp up efforts to sell its UK assets once it had completed the disposal of its US book. Mr Aynsley told staff Anglo would "continue to explore its options regarding both the US and the UK loan books" but stressed that "developments are not imminent".

"We are in the process of working with advisers to create a data pool that will allow us to consider multiple options on an ongoing basis," he said.

"When markets are favourable, we will be able to move forward with confidence, whether it be on an individual loan or a group of them."

While the US book will be sold in one deal to three purchasers, the UK sales are expected to be more piecemeal, reflecting the weight of a €9.5bn portfolio in a market the size of the UK's. Mr Dukes recently revealed that "several hundred millions" of Anglo's UK loans had already been sold.



Bidders

Anglo's wealth management business was one of the first of the embattled bank's assets to be put on the market, and has been aimed at would-be buyers since March.

Mr Aynsley told staff the bank was "currently working through the final due diligence phase with a number of bidders" -- a process which would run until December. Anglo has always said it would only sell the wealth management business if a good enough price could be achieved.

A formal announcement over the sale of the US loan book, which is being bought by Wells Fargo, Lone Star and JP Morgan, is expected over the coming week.

Irish Independent

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