Not at 221b, but at 2-14 where the building which is understood by Britain’s Telegraph to have been subject to a NAMA-bound loan was sold in April 2010 by the Northern Irish firm of McAleer and Rushe to property giant British Land for £29m (though it is unclear whether that figure includes any share of projected development profits which the Telegraph reports to be a term of the deal). The Telegraph says that the purchase of the property by McAleer and Rushe in 2005 for £57.2m was backed by a loan from Bank of Ireland which would have been bound for NAMA. Funnily enough it was British Land that sold the property in 2005, only to be buying it back now at what appears to be a substantial reduction – JP Morgan describe British Land as being “on the right side of the trade”!
The NAMA CEO recently told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance and the Public Service that there would be a rigorous audit of NAMA financial institutions to ensure that what the NAMA Act terms as Eligible Assets have been correctly dealt with by the financial institutions. Whilst there is nothing whatsoever to suggest that the above transaction in any way affronts the intentions of the NAMA Act, it does illustrate again the fact that financial institutions have had a substantial window since NAMA was announced to examine their loan books and it is to be hoped that any audit by NAMA will ensure that Irish citizenry have not lost out in a way contrary to the intentions of the NAMA Act through disposals or redemptions of NAMA-bound loans.