This afternoon, British commercial property portal, CoStar has published details of two loan portfolios which it says NAMA is currently readying for sale. As with the sale of Lloyds and AIB loan portfolios last year, the two NAMA portfolios have been given names – Project Aspen and Project Club.
CoStar says that Project Aspen has loans with a nominal value of €800m. We don’t know what NAMA paid for the loans but remember NAMA has paid an average of 43c in the euro for loans acquired from five Irish banks and building societies. Remember also, that Irish commercial and residential property has declined by about 30% – see graphic at top of this page – since November 2009 which was the date used by NAMA for the valuation of all the loans it was acquiring. Remember too, that NAMA paid a so-called “Long Term Economic Value” which averaged 10%. So the €800m par value loans might have been acquired by NAMA for €344m and the underlying commercial property might only be worth €228m today. Although CoStar does not say it, it is believed on here that the underlying property in Project Aspen belongs to loans connected to David Courtney of Spain, Courtney, Doyle fame.
The second portfolio, Project Club, is reported to have a par value of €230m.
CoStar says that Eastdil Secured has been selected by NAMA to sell Project Aspen. Last weekend, the word on the street was that Eastdil had been in the frame to handle the sale, but that it had not been ultimately engaged.
We don’t have any further information at present about Project Club, that is, we don’t know anything about the loans or the company engaged by NAMA to sell it.
NAMA had no comment on the report at time of writing.
UPDATE: 24th January 2013. It is understood from sources that the second portfolio, the smaller Project Club comprises loans to developer Eamonn Duignan and that CBRE in London has been chosen to manage the sale. It is further understood that NAMA paid €80-100m for the loans, which have a par value of approximately €230m.
UPDATE: 13th February, 2013. James Wallace at the CoStar commercial property portal has the skinny on Project Aspen, the €810m, 30-property portfolio connected with David Courtney. He writes that first round bids are expected by the end of February 2013, with Kennedy Wilson, Delancey, KKR expected to be amongst the bidders. James writes that the portfolio is likely to generate 30/40c in the euro of €240-320m. In addition to the properties first named above – the Shelbourne and Merrion Gates – James says the portfolio includes a Garda station – presumably not one of the 100+ that justice minister Alan Shatter HASN’T shut! James says that NAMA is not providing recent valuations which James views as a false economy. Given the circulation of valuations in the Enda Farrell scandal, such valuations mightn’t really be needed though!
UPDATE: 5th March, 2013. Gavin Daly wrote in last Sunday’s Sunday Times – not available online without subscription – that Starwood Capital was closing in on Project Aspen after some 40 bids were received for the €810m par value David Courtney loans. Starwood has USD 22m under management at present and Gavin claims that the bids for the portfolio have come in around the €200m mark, or 25c in the euro. The rent roll from the properties securing the loans is said to be €15m per annum. Importantly, Gavin writes that the portfolio excludes loans associated with the Shelbourne Hotel and the Elm Park development in Ballsbridge. As regards the Eamon Duignan Project Club loans, it is said that Patron Capital is to the fore in the race for this portfolio which may only realise €50m.