Wednesday 17 January 2018

Kenny’s home turf spared as vultures swoop for €6bn deal

Westport house
Westport house

Donal O’Donovan and Kevin Doyle

Loans linked to Westport House estate, a popular tourist attraction in Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s Mayo constituency, have been excluded from a massive Nama sale following an intervention by the Government.

Last night US fund Cerberus was named as preferred bidder for Nama’s Project Arrow, a €6.25bn portfolio of mainly problem property loans bundled up for sale in a single lot

But loans connected to Westport House estate, which locals had lobbied Fine Gael ministers to protect, were pulled from the deal in recent days and are instead set to be bought in a deal backed by the State.  

There had been calls to halt the Nama sale entirely pending the outcome of UK criminal and parliamentary investigations into the fallout from Cerberus’ earlier €1.6bn purchase of Nama’s Northern Ireland loan portfolio – dubbed Project Eagle.

Both Nama and Cerberus have denied any wrongdoing.

And Nama last night named Cerberus as preferred bidder for the latest €6.25bn of loans owed by 302 borrowers and secured on 1,906 properties.

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