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Ballymore windfall to cut NAMA debt by £38m


SEAN Mulryan's Ballymore Properties is set to reduce its NAMA borrowings by £38m (€45.6m) after selling its 25pc stake in a massive London development.

The sale of its share in the Wood Wharf project emerged yesterday after Canary Wharf Group said it was taking over 100pc of the development.

Canary Wharf paid Ballymore £38m for its 25pc stake in the site and will pay £52.4m for the 50pc share originally owned by British Waterways.

Ballymore's spokesman Paul Keogh said the deal would be a "windfall for NAMA" since Ballymore had no debt on the site and could therefore use the cash received to pay down its NAMA loans.

The property group will book a gross profit of £12m on the site, which is earmarked for a mixed development, including retail, offices, residential units and a hotel.

"This was a very good deal for Ballymore," said Mr Keogh.

"Canary Wharf Group was very anxious to get control of the development as it is the last large piece of land at Canary Wharf.

"The strategic approach Ballymore took is that the development of such a large site will increase the value of Ballymore's adjacent sites in east London."

Mr Keogh added: "It will also allow us balance our portfolio better between west, central and east London."

Ballymore is reportedly one of NAMA'S 10 biggest borrowers and had debts of about €1.5bn when it first began working with the toxic-loans agency.

Since then, the company and NAMA have agreed a substantial disposal programme.

NAMA was not involved in the Wood Wharf sale because the project had no debt, but Mr Keogh said the agency had been kept "abreast" of developments.

A spokesman for NAMA declined to comment.

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