Saturday 14 December 2019

Four firms lead race for Anglo's €7bn US loan book


Laura Noonan

FOUR private equity consortiums are leading the race for Anglo Irish Bank's $10bn (€7bn) US loan portfolio, while a shortlist of "about 10" bidders has been drawn up for the lender's €500m wealth management business.

The update on Anglo's sales comes as the collapsed bank and Irish Nationwide, soon to be collectively known as 'IBRC', embark on a 10-year plan to sell off assets loans and shut their businesses.

Reports in the US yesterday reveal that Anglo's $10bn US loan book is being courted by some of the biggest names in finance, including American International Group (AIG), BlackRock, Blackstone, Deutsche Bank and TPG.

The finance giants are grouped together in four consortiums who may lodge first-round bids by August 9, according to reports on Bloomberg.

The Irish Independent understands that several other parties are also looking at the loan book, which features 248 commercial loans stretching from Manhattan to Florida.

The portfolio has already been written down by €1.9bn between September 2009 and December 2010, so the bank will make a paper profit even if it sells the $10bn loan book at less than 80pc of its face value.

Anglo is hoping to close the sale of the US book in the third quarter, well ahead of the December 31 deadline the bank is officially working towards.

The sale is being aided by the buoyant US market, coupled with cheap cash from the US Fed. The market conditions, plus Anglo's own aim of slimming down its books, mean the bank is very unlikely to be involved in the funding of any sale.

Meanwhile, the protracted sale of Anglo's wealth management business has produced a shortlist of "about 10" bidders, with a data room expected to be opened over the coming weeks.

The shortlist was drawn from about 30 parties who initially expressed interest in the wealth management division, which oversees about €500m on behalf of some 2,500 clients.

The sale of wealth management has been in flow since early March, and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of the year.

Irish Independent

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