Monday 26 September 2016

The key players in this complex labyrinth of property sell-offs

Published 07/07/2015 | 02:30

Ian Coulter: A well known Belfast businessman, Mr Coulter has been named as a partner at the law firm Tughans who left the firm amid allegations of the diversion of £7m to the Isle of Man account referred to by Mick Wallace.
Ian Coulter: A well known Belfast businessman, Mr Coulter has been named as a partner at the law firm Tughans who left the firm amid allegations of the diversion of £7m to the Isle of Man account referred to by Mick Wallace.

Cerberus: An enormous US private equity company, Cerberus Capital Management specialises in property and buying so-called "distressed" assets before selling them on at a profit. Cerberus won the Project Eagle portfolio in April 2014 with a bid of some €1.6bn.

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Tughans: A Northern Ireland law firm, Tughans was employed by the American law firm Brown Rudnick to provide legal assistance on the Project Eagle deal. It is standard practice for a big international law firm to employ local firms for their knowledge and connections.

Brown Rudnick: A US law firm, Brown Rudnick was hired by Cerberus to advise on the Project Eagle deal. Brown Rudnick in turn hired Tughans as a local adviser in Belfast. Previously, Brown Rudnick had acted for Pimco in the Project Eagle sale process.

Pimco: Pacific Investment Management Company (Pimco) is one of the biggest investment firms in the world.

Nama: The State bad bank has been a controversial entity since it was set up in 2009. Nama has been selling off billions of euro worth of loans and assets to help pay back at least part of the cost of bailing out the banks but has faced heavy criticism for selling valuable assets too early, excessive secrecy, and numerous other issues.

Frank Cushnahan: Frank Cushnahan was appointed to Nama's Northern Ireland Advisory Committee (NIAC) in May 2010. At that time he was chairman of the Northern Ireland Department of Finance, among other positions. In his role on the Nama NIAC he advised the agency on its disposal strategy. It is alleged that he was due to receive a payment from Pimco as part of its bid for Project Eagle.

Peter Robinson: Northern Ireland First Minister. Mr Robinson said he met representatives from Pimco when it was considering buying Project Eagle. He has denied he was in line to receive any payment tied to the Project Eagle sale.

Mick Wallace: Independent TD for Wexford. Mr Wallace told the Dáil last week how Nama had sold its entire portfolio for Northern Ireland, Project Eagle, for €1.5bn to a US private equity firm despite it having originally been worth €4.5bn. He added that a routine audit of a legal firm involved in the process, Tughans, revealed that "£7m had ended up in an Isle of Man bank account … reportedly earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician". He has said he has further details which he will publish once he has confirmed the facts.

Public Accounts Committee (PAC): The Dáil's public spending watchdog. The PAC will invite Nama officials to appear before it to discuss the Project Eagle sale on Thursday.

NI Executive Finance Committee: Northern Ireland Assembly finance watchdog. Has called for Mr Wallace and representatives of Cerberus, Tughans and Nama to appear before it to discuss the Eagle sale.

Ian Coulter: A well known Belfast businessman, Mr Coulter has been named as a partner at the law firm Tughans who left the firm amid allegations of the diversion of £7m to the Isle of Man account referred to by Mick Wallace.

Irish Independent

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