Thursday 22 February 2018

Final sell-off of loans linked to IBRC is under way

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. Photo: Collins
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. Photo: Collins
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

THE special liquidators of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) have begun the sales process for the final €2.4bn worth of loans linked to the former bank.

The loans have been divided across three so-called projects - Amber, Quartz and Pearl.

The sales process for Project Amber, which includes €675m worth of Irish-based corporate and commercial loans, began last week, the special liquidators confirmed.

Accountants PwC are advising special liquidators Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG on Project Amber.

The sales process for Projects Quartz and Pearl are expected to begin next month.

Quartz includes €1.1bn worth of commercial property loans, while Pearl is comprised of €655m worth of mortgages, mostly in the Republic.

Binding bids for Amber are expected by October, with November and December pencilled in for Quartz and Pearl.

The special liquidators compiled a progress report which was published by Finance Minister Michael Noonan in June and showed that 90pc of the loan book had been sold since the scandal-hit lender was placed into liquidation in February of last year, with €21.7bn of loans brought to the market.

Oustanding loans yet to be dealt with include those attached to Blackrock Clinic. The issue had been mired in legal proceedings involving US-based Irish developer John Flynn.

In May, Mr Flynn sought to block the sale of loans attached to the high-profile private Dublin clinic by petitioning a Delaware bankruptcy court which last year granted IBRC bankruptcy protection.

His lawyers argued that the special liquidators of the bank had excluded Mr Flynn from being one of the buyers.

Mr Flynn was part of a consortium called JCS Investment Holdings XIV, which had been named by IBRC as the preferred bidder for the Blackrock Clinic loans.

IBRC's progress report revealed that €110m in fees had been paid to accountants, banks and lawyers working on the liquidation of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) in the 14 months to the end of March.

But the decision to close IBRC early by putting it into liquidation has ultimately saved €1.1bn in running costs until 2020, according to the report.

It is now hoped that IBRC will be wound down by the end of the year, when its remaining €2.4bn of assets are expected to be sold off.

Even after the final sale of assets, the liquidation process - and some of the fees associated with it - will continue because of the separate ongoing legal battles, such as high-profile cases involving the Quinn family, David Drumm, and litigation surrounding Irish Nationwide Building Society.

Irish Independent

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