Friday 23 February 2018

Maple 10 man seeks to buy €300m Nama loans

Sean Reilly eyes up €100m discount

DEVELOPER: Sean Reilly
DEVELOPER: Sean Reilly

Tom Lyons

Sean Reilly, one of the biggest owners of premium offices in Dublin 2 and 4, is in talks with a major private equity firm and Bank of Ireland about buying out his loans at a discount from the National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

Mr Reilly, who is best known as a member of the Maple 10, has teamed up with Anchorage, a multi-billion fund represented by former AIB chair Dan O'Connor, to provide the equity for the deal.

Mr Reilly, a low-profile, highly intelligent property investor, owes Nama about €300m. He hopes with his backers to be allowed buy back his loans at a discount of at least €100m in return for stumping up a large cheque.

No agreement has been reached with Nama about the terms of any transaction.

Mr Reilly, a highly respected developer, owns about 1m sq ft of office space via his company McGarrell Reilly. The biggest of these is the 210,000 sq ft Iveagh Court Complex in Dublin 2. He also owns the Watermarque building in Dublin 4. Mr Reilly owns development sites in Dundalk, Donabate, Stepaside and elsewhere, which he hopes to build on as demand for new homes returns.

Mr Reilly became briefly famous when it emerged he was one of the group known as the Maple 10 who bought shares in Anglo Irish Bank. He did not return calls for comment on Friday.

Anchorage has been actively linked as an under-bidder for various businesses in Ireland, including Greenstar and Siteserv. The emergence of Bank of Ireland as a potential funder reflects increasing confidence in the bank in cash-generating premium property assets. What the terms are of Mr Reilly's deal with his new funding partners in return for their support is not known.

It is possible a mezzanine fund provider may also be introduced to the deal if it goes ahead.

Nama has been more inventive in its dealings with its clients in recent months. Last week, it announced it had sold an €810m portfolio of loans related to developer David Courtney to a consortium of investors led by US-based Starwood Capital Group for just €195m. Nama plans to sell the loan portfolio to a joint-venture entity, 20 per cent owned by it and 80 per cent by the Starwood consortium.

The exact nature of Mr Courtney's deal with Starwood has not been disclosed. He was reported to be due a fee from the Starwood consortium for six months but what will happen after that has not been disclosed. The Starwood consortium also includes Dublin-based Key Capital Real Estate and Catalyst Capital from the UK.

Irish Independent

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