Belfast Telegraph

Nama strikes a €2bn deal with UK real estate company

By Peter Flanagan

The Republic's bad bank Nama has sold loans tied to one of Ireland's top shopping destinations Dundrum Town Centre and other properties in Dublin for nearly €2bn.

In Nama's biggest single transaction to date, UK property firm Hammerson and Germany's Allianz Real Estate will pay €1.85bn for the loan portfolio known as Project Jewel.

The portfolio includes loans secured against Dundrum Town Centre, as well as 50% stakes in the Ilac Centre and Pavilions Centre in Dublin.

It's Nama's biggest deal since US fund Cerberus Capital Management paid an estimated £1.2bn for the agency's Northern Ireland portfolio of loans, which had a nominal worth of £4.5m.

That deal has since been immersed in controversy over the payment of a £7.5m to law firm Tughans, which it's alleged was destined for a Northern Ireland politician and other 'fixers'.

Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh said: "We are very pleased with the successful outcome of this competitive loan sale which represents Nama's biggest single transaction to date.

"The competitive tension throughout the loan sales process is continuing evidence of the strong investor appetite for property-related loans in Ireland.

"We are delighted that institutions of the calibre of Hammerson and Allianz have shown huge confidence in Ireland by this strategic investment in a unique, high quality portfolio."

David Atkins, CEO of Hammerson, said: "Hammerson, together with its joint venture partner, Allianz, is delighted to confirm its acquisition of the Project Jewel loan portfolio.

"We believe that our offer represents a compelling mixture of international and local real estate investment expertise together with leading asset and development management skills, and we look forward to playing our part in ensuring that the underlying assets meet their future potential for the surrounding communities.

"The transaction provides a unique opportunity to increase our exposure to Europe's fastest growing economy, creating a platform for significant investment and employment opportunities."

Annette Kroger, CEO of Allianz Real Estate Germany, said: "Our investment into Project Jewel is an important step to a further diversification of Allianz's real estate portfolio. It is a very attractive opportunity to get exposure to the dynamic Irish market. We are pleased to cooperate again with Hammerson as our JV partner. "

Belfast Telegraph