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NAMA puts €300m loan portfolio up for sale

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Brendan McDonagh, CEO of NAMA

Brendan McDonagh, CEO of NAMA

Brendan McDonagh, CEO of NAMA

NAMA has put its first ever multi-borrower loan portfolio on the market, in a move which will be seen as a key test of investor appetite for such debt.

The state bad bank has formally launched “Project Albion” – a portfolio of loans mostly backed by UK commercial property.

The portfolio has a par value of some £226m (€318m).

According to CoStar News, the portfolio is comprised of 22 loans across eight separate borrower connections and secured by 25 assets. It is believed that 21 of the loans are in default.

The loans are secured against a number of properties including seven offices, one high end hotel and leisure asset, one industrial estate in Scotland, five residential investment properties in UK regional cities and more than 300 acres across of land across 10 sites.

Most of the loans were originally advanced by AIB.

The sale of Project Albion marks a departure for NAMA as it is the first portfolio of smaller borrowers that has been bundled together to attract a buyer. The move was trailed last year by the agency.

Speaking at a conference in London last September, NAMA portfolio manager Hugh MacNish Porter said the agency was currently assessing how best to sell loans linked to its 100s of smaller debtors - who owe millions rather than hundreds of millions of euro each.

Selling smaller loan pools is one option, he said.

"Is there still value in the €1bn bracket -so far that is where the value has been - or is there better value, say the €50m to €100m bracket?"

"At one stage, if you were bringing along a sale for less than €200m there just wasn't the interest, that is now changing," he added.

NAMA is selling assets with a par value of nearly €13bn at present across six separate sale processes, as it ramps up the speed of its selling.

Agency chief executive has previously said the bad bank would target at least €250m worth asset sales every quarter this year but that figure will likely be well beaten.

A spokesman for NAMA declined to comment.

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