independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Malaysian firms to buy NAMA-controlled Battersea Power Station

Battersea power station

MALAYSIAN firms SP Setia and Sime Darby have won the bid to buy Battersea Power Station which is being sold by NAMA and Lloyds Bank for £400m (€499m).

SP Setia was originally lined up as an investment partner by Battersea former owner Treasury Holdings.

And the latest move is likely to re-ignite the legal battle between Treasury Holdings and seller NAMA.

NAMA is alleged to have refused to cut a deal with the same buyer last year, before seizing control of the site, according to a legal challenge being mounted by Treasury Holdings.

NAMA and UK lender Lloyds took control of the giant site in London at Christmas, appointing Ernst & Young as administrators over unpaid loans.

The loans were owed by Real Estate Opportunities, an investment firm backed by Treasury Holdings.

Treasury has launched a legal action seeking hundreds of millions in damages from NAMA over the decision to place the site in administration.

Dublin based Treasury claims the move needlessly cost it €400m in management fees, as well as hundreds of millions more in lost potential profits.

At the heart of Treasury's case is a claim that NAMA passed up an opportunity to be repaid in full by SP Setia, prior to the administration.

Under UK rules, a lender is not allowed to receive more than it is owed following an administration.

Treasury said in evidence filed with the courts that it had lined up SP Setia as an investment partner for the project.

It said Setia was prepared to buy NAMA's share of the Battersea loans at full face value.

Sources at NAMA have rejected to claim and said the State-controlled bad bank had not received any offer that would have seen the Battersea loans repaid in full, until the most recent auction.

A statement from Ernst & Young today stated: "Following an extensive global marketing campaign, undertaken by Ernst & Young Real Estate Corporate Finance and Knight Frank LLP, the Joint Administrators are pleased to announce that on Wednesday 6 June 2012 they entered into an exclusivity agreement with SP Setia and Sime Darby."

The development also rules out Chelsea Football Club from buying the site.

Chelsea had made a bid in the latest auction for Battersea.

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