Business

Thursday 30 March 2017

New Nama revelations in fixer fee scandal

Alan Stewart, senior divisional solicitor at Nama, and Michael Moriarty, head of asset recovery, arrive at Leinster House for the PAC hearing Photo: Tom Burke
Alan Stewart, senior divisional solicitor at Nama, and Michael Moriarty, head of asset recovery, arrive at Leinster House for the PAC hearing Photo: Tom Burke
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

A senior Nama official suggested there may have been a way for the original bidder of the controversial Project Eagle loan book to remain in the sale process despite the emergence of fixer fees.

The revelation was contained in notes of phone conversations between senior National Asset Management Agency staff and US investment firm Pimco - the first company lined up to buy the agency's Northern Ireland portfolio.

Pimco pulled out of the €1.2bn sale after it emerged Frank Cushnahan, who previously worked for Nama, sought a so-called 'success fee' from the US firm for his work on the project.

Nama has always maintained Pimco was left with no choice by the State agency but to leave the sale process after the success fees emerged.

However, in the notes given to the Public Accounts Committee, Nama's then head of assets Ronnie Hanna is recorded asking Pimco if it had "considered other options" after the alleged success fees for Mr Cushnahan emerged.

Tom Rice, a solicitor working for Pimco, asked Mr Hanna what other options would be available.

In response, Mr Hanna suggested the deal "could be shaped differently" if the success fee could be removed from the process.

Irish Independent

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