Nama pooling 100s of small debtors’ loans ahead of sales

Under the plan the loans of dozens of unrelated debtors will be bundled together into portfolios by Nama managers and sold as combined lots.

Yesterday the agency put €600m of Irish property assets including Facebook’s Dublin headquarters, shopping centres, hotels and apartments on the market in five portfolios.

Up to now, Nama has mainly sold very large portfolios tied to only one borrower, such as the €1.8bn Project Tower portfolio tied to developer Michael O’Flynn that was controversially taken over by US firm Blackstone.

Nama’s chief executive Brendan McDonagh said yesterday that builders should not fear having their loans sold to US private equity funds.

There is “no harm” in seeing large volumes of international capital coming into Ireland in this way and the country should be happy to accept it, he said.

Individual debtors whose loans are sold can benefit if they understand the funds, he said.

“You can work with these people. They will stick with you if they think you can make them money,” Mr McDonagh said.

And the Nama chief held out an olive branch to builders that might have had past run-ins with his agency.

Nama has €3bn left to invest of the €4bn set aside to fund projects, he said.

“Whatever has happened in the past happened before, we need to work together,” he said.

He was speaking at a Construction Industry Federation conference, where Tanaiste Joan Burton and Housing Minister Paudie Coffey also addressed delegates.

Nama’s construction focus is on building at the special development zone (SDC) in Dublin’s docklands and on housing, but it can finance building anywhere, Mr McDonagh said.

Speaking at a Real Estate Capital Forum in London, NAMA portfolio manager Hugh MacNish Porter said the agency was currently assessing how best to sell loans linked to its 100s of smaller debtors – who owe millions rather than hundreds of millions of euro each.

Selling smaller loan pools is one option, he said.

“Is there still value in the €1bn bracket -so far that is where the value has been – or is there better value, say the €50m to €100m bracket?”

“At one stage, if you were bringing along a sale for less than €200m there just wasn’t the interest, that is now changing,” he added.

CIF president Philip Crampton urged the Government to help the industry by addressing training and employment issues, speeding up planning and cutting VAT and local authority levies.

Nama has put properties worth €600m on the market and said next year’s likely sales have already been finalised.

The properties Nama put on sale yesterday are bundled into five portfolios, including two sets of Dublin offices – one of which features the Facebook offices, a portfolio of five regional shopping centres, a pool of 600 apartments spread across seven locations in Dublin, and a hotels portfolio.

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