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Green takes on 'hundreds' of properties on behalf of Lloyds Bank

GREEN Property has already taken "hundreds of properties" under its management control on behalf of Lloyds and expects a similar additional number to fall under its wing, according to Green Property chairman Stephen Vernon.

Lloyds signed a deal last year with Green Property that would see the Irish firm manage commercial properties on the island of Ireland that the bank put into receivership.

The assets relate to part of €13bn in commercial property loans that were handed out by Bank of Scotland (Ireland). Lloyds took over Bank of Scotland in 2009.

It was estimated that Green Property could eventually end up managing properties representing about €1bn in loans on behalf of Lloyds.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Vernon said that the contract with Lloyds is effectively a "large deconstruction exercise" that will go on for some time.

"It's a very large property portfolio," he added, noting that about half of the properties that fall under the contract with Lloyds have already been handed over to Green to manage. The company doesn't take any equity stake in the properties, but receives a management fee.

He said Green Property, which also owns the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, is effectively emulating the role of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA). Green doesn't take on the management of hotels or golf courses for Lloyds.

Mr Vernon said that Green Property is "busier than ever", having made five new senior appointments in recent months.

In the UK, the company is advancing plans for the construction of two large residential skyscrapers in London's Battersea district. It needs to demolish an existing building on the site.

That office block was formerly owned by investor Achilleas Kallakis. A retrial was ordered in January in a case where Mr Kallakis and a fellow investor are accused of defrauding AIB out of close to €1bn.

Mr Vernon said he also hopes that Green Property's joint venture with US private equity giant TPG will be in a position to make its first acquisition within the next year.

They formed the venture in 2010 to invest as much as €900m in buying commercial property in Ireland and the UK. Due to Ireland's bailout, the venture pulled plans in late 2010 to pay as much as €120m for 16 properties owned by Royal Liver in Dublin.

Mr Vernon also said that UK retail group Arcadia, which is owned by billionaire Philip Green, had renewed leases at the Blanchardstown centre recently.

It has about five stores there, operating under its brands such as Topshop and Dorothy Perkins.

Arcadia had threatened to shut the outlets last year as a result of a row over rents.

New accounts for Green Property Holdings show the company made a €9.9m profit in its 2010 financial year on revenue of €16.8m.

Indo Business