Monday 17 December 2018

Bidders shortlisted for PTSB mortgages sell-off

PTSB chief Jeremy Masding
PTSB chief Jeremy Masding

Gretchen Friemann

Permanent TSB has begun shortlisting bidders for its controversial sale of €2.2bn of residential mortgages, as the State-backed bank sets its sights on selecting a final deal by mid-summer.

Lone Star, the Texas-based distressed debt heavyweight, is thought to have made the final furlong, alongside the Los Angeles-headquartered Oaktree, in the hunt for loans attached to 11,200 properties.

Sources said Goldman Sachs and Apollo had participated in the first round and displayed strong interest in the assets.

PTSB recently scaled back the sale, known as Project Glas, removing €900m of split or partially restructured mortgages, after coming under political pressure not to sell the home loans of borrowers who had engaged with the lender after falling into arrears.

The buy-to-let component of the sale was also reduced as some landlords handed back keys. According to sources, PTSB is hoping to enter into exclusive negotiations with an investor by July, although the deadline may be pushed out to September. A spokesman for the bank declined to comment.

It is understood most of the bidders for the assets, which are divided into two tranches with buy-to-let loans in a portfolio dubbed Project Nepal and owner-occupier loans held in a portfolio named Project Tibet, also bid for AIB's agreed €1.1bn loan sale. Cerberus won that auction.

However, PTSB's deal is far more politically sensitive. Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath has tabled draft legislation aimed at curbing the reach of so-called vulture funds that buy loans cheaply with an eye to fast recovery,

This week Minister for Justice, Charles Flanagan, announced a scaled-back version of the 'Keeping People in their Homes Bill' that would make it harder to repossess homes.

Irish Independent

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