Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Bank site sold at fraction of value

The half-finished headquarters of Anglo have been purchased by the Central Bank

The Central Bank has officially bought the half-finished headquarters of toxic lender Anglo.

A price was agreed between Central Bank bosses and state-run "bad bank" the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) which took ownership of the eight-storey empty shell after the Anglo bailout in 2009.

Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh said the organisation was delighted with the sale, understood to be valued at around 7 million euro (£5.6m).

The sealed-off site where the skeletal building stands at Dublin's North Wall Quay was once valued at 250 million euro but Nama put it on the market for between 8 and 10 million euro (between £6.4m and £8m).

"We are very happy with the price secured for the asset," said Mr McDonagh.

"Nama, working with the receivers, had prioritised the sale of this asset for the past 18 months and had engaged with a number of interested parties. We are very happy now to have concluded the process and look forward to the Central Bank completing the building which will greatly enhance the whole landscape in the Dublin docklands."

It emerged last month that the Central Bank was interested in buying the property which stands as a tombstone to the so-called Celtic Tiger.

Money raised by Nama through the sale of the building will go towards clearing bad debts from the main banks. Facebook and major finance house BNY Mellon are understood to have expressed an interest in the property.

The site overlooking the city's docklands and borders the IFSC was bought by developer Liam Carroll, one of the biggest and first victims of the recession. His Zoe Developments went into liquidation in 2009 with debts of around 1.3 billion euro (£1.04bn).

Once finished, the building was intended as the headquarters for Anglo Irish Bank, now synonymous with the economic crisis because of its history with bad loans and controversy. It is understood construction will begin next year to complete the building. Work is expected to take around 18 months to complete and the Central Bank is reportedly hoping to move staff in by 2015.IrishIrel

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