Monday 18 February 2019

Taxpayer relief as almost all of IBRC loans are sold

Michael Noonan
Michael Noonan

Sarah McCabe

THE overhwelming majority of IBRC's loans have been sold and less than €2bn is now likely to transfer to the taxpayer via the National Asset Management Agency, IBRC special liquidators KPMG said.

Some €19.8bn of IBRC's total book of €21.7m has now been sold, liquidators Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson said yesterday, following the sale of most of the last major loan portfolios on IBRC's books.

Almost two-thirds of one portfolio, which included a batch of IBRC mortgages mostly connected to defunct building society Irish Nationwide with a stated or face value of €1.8bn, was sold to US private equity groups Lone Star and Oaktree Capital. The liquidator has previously indicated that around half of these mortgages are in arrears.

A source said the unsold portion contained the best-performing of the mortgages. Both Lone Star and Oaktree Capital have agreed to voluntarily adhere to the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears which limits the number of phone calls creditors can make to distressed borrowers.

About 85pc of another portfolio of loans connected to commercial real estate with a face value of €9.3bn, was sold in tranches to Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs private equity investor CarVal and Lone Star, along with a smattering of smaller buyers who bought loans connected to single borrowers. Texas-based Lone Star, the only bidder successful in both portfolios was the single biggest buyer of assets in IBRC's rapid-fire liquidation.

The loans in the second portfolio were made by Anglo Irish Bank. About two-fifths are secured by Irish assets, with another two-fifths secured by UK assets, 15pc secured by European assets and the rest connected to properties around the world. They include debts connected to the Blackrock Clinic in south Dublin.

DISTRESSED

Deustche Bank bought the largest and most valuable tranches, according to UK property website, Costar. CarVal and Goldman Sachs bought tranches containing some of the most distressed loans, trading at the steepest discounts.

KPMG said it would continue to work on selling the unsold remainder of both portfolios, though most of the remaining loans are expected to eventually be passed over to NAMA.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said: "These successful sales to third parties are finally breaking the link between Anglo Irish Bank and the Irish taxpayer," he said. "This link was a major factor in forcing the previous government to seek EU and IMF assistance. The success of the liquidation ensures no further calls will be made on the taxpayer over those already budgeted."

Irish Independent

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