Developer Joe O'Reilly is set for high stakes talks with UK property giant Hammerson and Germany's Allianz Real Estate on the future of his Dundrum Town Centre after the two firms agreed to buy loans tied to his businesses from Nama for nearly €2bn.
The two companies have agreed to pay €1.85bn for the loan portfolio known as Project Jewel. The portfolio includes loans secured against Dundrum Town Centre, a 50pc stake in the Ilac Centre in Dublin, and a 50pc stake in the Pavilions centre in Swords to the north of the city, as well as two development sites.
The loans were all advanced originally to Mr O'Reilly's development firm, Chartered Land.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said his company would now hold talks with Mr O'Reilly and the rest of the Chartered Land executive team to outline a plan for the businesses for the future.
Mr Atkins said Hammerson "has a lot of respect for Chartered Land" but added that this was "the start of a journey" for Allianz and the UK firm.
Hammerson is hoping to come to a "consensual arrangement" with Mr O'Reilly, he added. A spokesman for Chartered Land declined to comment.
News of the talks came after Hammerson and Allianz and were named preferred bidders for the loans portfolio known as "Project Jewel".
The deal, which is Nama's biggest sale to date, sees Allianz and Hammerson take a 50pc share in the loans behind the Dundrum Town Centre and a development site nearby. Hammerson will also take over loans tied to a holding in the Ilac Centre, an adjacent development site, and the Pavilions Shopping Centre.
The sale will likely net Nama a profit of more than €1.4bn overall. It paid around €1bn for Chartered Land's loans in 2010, and has already sold assets and taken in rental income worth an estimated €650m before this sale. Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh said the sale was a vote of confidence in the Irish market.
"We are delighted that institutions of the calibre of Hammerson and Allianz have shown huge confidence in Ireland by this strategic investment in a unique, high quality portfolio," he said.
Allianz Real Estate boss Annette Kroger said the purchase was "an important step to a further diversification of Allianz´s real estate portfolio".
"It is a very attractive opportunity to get exposure to the dynamic Irish market. We are pleased to co-operate again with Hammerson as our joint venture partner" she said.
The sale process, which was run by US property firm Eastdil Secured, attracted bids from around the world, including the Far East, Middle East and US.