Saturday 16 December 2017

Goggin seeks to buy property loans from banks

APPROACH: Brian Goggin. Photo: Frank McGrath
APPROACH: Brian Goggin. Photo: Frank McGrath
Nick Webb

Nick Webb

AS Bank of Ireland desperately scuttles about trying to avoid state control, former chief executive Brian Goggin is fronting a move by €50bn private equity giant Apollo to buy distressed property loans and assets from Irish banks.

It is understood that Apollo made a series of presentations to executives of Irish banks and foreign banks with Irish subsidiaries at a central London hotel late last year.

Last February, the Sunday Independent revealed that Goggin had hooked up with Apollo to buy financial assets in Ireland. He became a director of Financial Credit Investments in the IFSC, where his co-director is high-flying Apollo partner Gernot Lohr.

The company may be involved in buying or refinancing huge blocks of "life insurance policies" having registered a loan with Credit Suisse AG (Cayman Islands) and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) in January.

However, the move to approach Irish banks with offers to buy certain properties or property-related loans is understood to have accelerated in recent weeks.

One banking source indicated that the Apollo investors were keen to do a deal with Bank of Ireland over some of its loan portfolio.

Goggin's role in any deal with Bank of Ireland would be political kryptonite for the Government as the Foxrock banker led the bank into a disastrous orgy of lending that has seen the State forced to pump €3.5bn into keeping the bank afloat.

Last week, Bank of Ireland agreed a major debt-for-equity swap deal with 95 per cent of its bondholders.

The bank still needs to raise a further €2.2bn through a rights issue in the coming months.

Brian Goggin stepped down from Bank of Ireland in mid-2009, soon after giving that infamous interview to RTE detailing how he would be paid "less than €2m".

He has a pension of about €650,000 per year.

Sunday Indo Business

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