Business

Thursday 29 September 2016

Nama €1.5bn Project Tolka sale is delayed again

Published 24/07/2016 | 02:30

Among Project Tolka portfolio's most significant assets is the Burlington Plaza. With an estimated value of €250m, the office complex, which is located on Dublin's Burlington Road, is currently occupied by several high-profile tenants, including Sky Ireland, Amazon and Bank of Ireland
Among Project Tolka portfolio's most significant assets is the Burlington Plaza. With an estimated value of €250m, the office complex, which is located on Dublin's Burlington Road, is currently occupied by several high-profile tenants, including Sky Ireland, Amazon and Bank of Ireland

Nama's proposed sale of Project Tolka, a loan portfolio with a par value of approximately €1.5bn, is now likely to be delayed beyond August 31, the date by which it had been expected to be brought to the market.

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The Sunday Independent has learned that the finalisation of the agreement between Nama and the borrowers behind the portfolio has been held back as efforts continue to perfect the title on a number of its assets, with a view to maximising its potential sale price.

While the loans in Project Tolka are in the main accounted for by a partnership comprising property developers and investors Paddy Kelly, John Flynn and the Dublin-based McCormack family, who control the property investment vehicle Alanis, it is understood there are numerous other parties to the loans, whose signatures Nama wants to have in place in order to assert title on certain assets within the portfolio.

It remains unclear how many signatures are still being sought.

A source familiar with the matter said Nama was hopeful of securing a price "approaching par" for Project Tolka and was pressing for as much as possible of the title documentation to be perfected in order to achieve that aim.

Among Project Tolka portfolio's most significant assets is the Burlington Plaza. With an estimated value of €250m, the office complex, which is located on Dublin's Burlington Road, is currently occupied by several high-profile tenants, including Sky Ireland, Amazon and Bank of Ireland.

It is understood another of Project Tolka's best assets, the four-star Carton House Hotel in Kildare, which was developed by Paddy Kelly, is to be sold separately from the wider portfolio.

The sale of Project Tolka had previously been postponed in the summer of 2015. Nama pulled the sale as Mr Flynn was in talks at the time to refinance his loans with the agency.

Quite apart from its intention to bring Project Tolka to the market, Nama is also gearing up to dispose of Project Gem, a portfolio of loans with a face value of around €4bn, towards the end of this year.

In contrast to the loans associated with Kelly, Flynn and the McCormack family, Project Gem is expected to sell at a substantial discount to its par value.

Last month, Nama selected Oaktree Capital Group as the preferred bidder for Projects Ruby and Emerald, a package of loans with a face value of €4.7bn. The €2.5bn Project Emerald portfolio comprises loans to 16 borrowers secured against 236 properties, most of which are commercial, while the €2.2bn Project Ruby portfolio relates to 253 properties involving 15 borrowers.

Oaktree is understood to be paying a combined €800m for the entire Emerald and Ruby loan books.

According to its annual report, Nama held loans valued at €7.8bn at the end of 2015, down from €13.4bn at the end of 2014. The figures are based on the current, rather than nominal, value of the loans.

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