Sunday 15 December 2019

Ulster Bank to sell off €400m Cosgrave Group loans

Ulster Bank Chief Executive, Jim Brown
Ulster Bank Chief Executive, Jim Brown

Peter Flanagan Commercial Property Editor

ULSTER Bank has agreed terms to sell nearly €400m worth of loans tied to the Cosgrave Property Group, as it continues its fire sale of Irish assets.

The bank is selling of loans worth €370m against companies controlled by the developer brothers the Cosgraves.

US private equity firm Davidson Kempner has won the portfolio, which makes up the €715m Project Button of Ulster Bank property assets.

The portfolio includes debt taken out by Romford Luxembourg Holdings, which owns the 1.1m sq ft Liberty Shopping Centre in Romford.

The scheme was bought from Hammerson in August 2006 for £281m (€345m). It is now understood to be worth just under £200m.

This is Davidson Kempner's first major deal in Ireland, although it has been actively seeking deals here for some time.

Last month it was one of the underbidders for about €1.7bn worth of loans tied to Cork developer Michael O'Flynn. NAMA sold Mr O'Flynn's loans to Blackstone for about €1.1bn.

Ulster Bank and its parent group Royal Bank of Scotland is rapidly selling down a huge amount of its property assets and related loans in Ireland.

Assets worth more than €1bn are expected to be sold by the middle of this year with more to follow.

Irish Independent

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