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Creditors push for more control of Alburn assets

LENDERS owed £184m (€218m) by Noel Smyth's UK property empire Alburn Limited are pushing for greater control over the assets after an offer to buy back their bonds was blocked on a technicality.

The group of bond investors has ramped up pressure on Rothschild, the loan "servicer".

The bondholders are lenders to Alburn Real Estate Capital, a commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS) deal. The bonds were used to finance Mr Smyth's acquisition of a portfolio of offices valued at £205m.

Conor Downey of US law firm Paul Hastings is acting for the bondholder group. He issued a market notice setting out their wish for greater control.

Mr Downey said his clients will formally request that Rothschild take action to provide more oversight, or risk facing action aimed at replacing them.

In December Noel Smyth and UK property firm Highcross offered to buy back Alburn CMBS' £184m of bonds at 80pc of face value.

RBS used its 25pc share of the debt to block the offer.

Since then bondholders have been in limbo.

Irish Independent