Nama seeks to pull residential assets from €1.5bn Project Tolka sale
Negotiations regarding Nama's proposed disposal of Project Tolka - a loan portfolio with a par value of €1.5bn - are understood to be at an "advanced stage", with expectations this weekend that an agreement will be reached in the coming days to prepare it for sale by August 31 next.
The Sunday Independent understands that efforts by Nama to finalise an agreement with the borrowers clearing the way for Project Tolka's disposal have been complicated however by a number of factors, including the agency's desire to hold on to residential assets within the portfolio to help meet its target of building 20,000 new homes by 2020.
A source with knowledge of the negotiations said Nama's wish had complicated the process somewhat due to the "diversity and complexity of Project Tolka's partnership base". Project Tolka comprises loans linked to property developers and investors Paddy Kelly, John Flynn and the Dublin-based McCormack family, who control the property investment vehicle Alanis. The three parties co-invested in several deals, and many of the loans within the Project Tolka portfolio are interlinked.
Referring to Nama's wish to retain certain of Project Tolka's residential assets, the source said: "Nama wants to hold on to the residential assets, so there has had to be a rigorous valuation process to ensure there is equity in valuing the various loan interests."
Among the main investment properties in the Project Tolka portfolio are the Burlington Plaza office complex on Dublin's Burlington Road, Belfield Office Park and the old Children's Hospital on Harcourt Street in Dublin city centre.
The sale of Project Tolka had already been postponed in the summer of 2015. Nama pulled the sale as Flynn was in talks at the time to refinance his loans with the agency.
While a spokesman for Nama declined to comment when asked about the current negotiations, and more specifically the agency's wish to withdraw residential assets from the Project Tolka sale, Nama has in the past said publicly that it would hold on to residential sites that it believes could help it meet its stated aim of delivering 20,000 homes by 2020.
That plan however, could yet be frustrated should the European Commission find in favour of a complaint submitted last December by property developers Michael O'Flynn, Paddy McKillen, David Daly, New Generation Homes CEO Patrick Crean and MKN Group director Brian McKeown.
They have sought an investigation into Nama's provision of funding for property development alleging that it may breach rules on State aid.
Sunday Indo Business