Business Irish

Monday 19 March 2018

Ex-Anglo and Nama execs hired by Lone Star

Buyout fund targets big Irish loans

DEBT PLAYS: John Grayken
DEBT PLAYS: John Grayken

Roisin BUrke

Ireland's fourth richest man has hired top former Anglo and Nama executives as it seeks to buy up distressed assets and bank loans.

John Grayken's Lone Star office in Dublin is led by Eddie Byrne, Anglo's head of US lending in a former life.

In the US, Byrne presided over Anglo's aggressive North American lending drive, that saw it amass a €8bn loan book. Lone Star later bought a chunk of Anglo's €10bn loan book in 2011.

Byrne is Lone Star's head of asset management in Ireland since January. For a year prior he was senior vice-president of Lone Star Funds in Boston.

Lone Star's Irish head of real estate is erstwhile senior Nama portfolio manager and former Bernard McNamara executive Michael Hynes, who joined up in January 2013.

Hynes was with Nama for 18 months, and prior to that worked for Nama developer and Anglo borrower McNamara's Grattan Property.

Also involved is Eamonn McInerney, a former portfolio manager at Anglo and now an associate director at Hudson Advisors, Lone Star's loan servicing business. Longtime Anglo manager Terry Byrne is a senior loan asset manager there, as is former Warren Private executive Barry Cunningham.

IBRC's €27bn loan book, with debts related to Arnotts, TV3 and fuel merchant Topaz, may interest Byrne and colleagues. Presale valuations are due to be carried out by the liquidator in coming months.

It remains to be seen whether Irish passport holder Grayken will extract his famed customary 20 per cent return target from Irish debt plays.

Lone Star is actively bidding on bust bank loans and was a losing bidder for the €800m face-value Nama portfolio Project Aspen recently, among others. Lone Star bought the €675m face-value 'Project Kildare' AIB property portfolio in October last, for, it is thought, around €300m.

Lone Star bought the biggest and most distressed slice of Anglo's €8bn North American portfolio in 2010, for less than 80c in the dollar.

Anglo's US outfit, once numbering 50 people and once led by beleaguered ex-Anglo boss David Drumm, entered the US market forcefully in 2000 and quickly became a go-to lender for major developers there, particularly in New York and Boston.

Lone Star and its back office function, Hudson Advisors, have an office on Dublin's Leeson Street. Ireland also serves as a central global accounting office for the veteran distressed asset fund giant's global activities.

Irish Independent

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