Patron Capital has this afternoon closed the acquisition of NAMA’s Project Drive paying around €49m for the predominantly Irish loan portfolio which includes the Northside Shopping Centre in Dublin.
Underbidders on Project Drive included Development Securities and CarVal Investors.
Project Drive comprised loans extended to N1 Property Developments, ran by Irish property developer and auctioneer Brian O’Farrell, in its latest single borrower loan portfolio.
O’Farrell is one of the recently Court-named “Maple 10” – or the “Anglo Golden Circle” – who were allegedly given hundreds of millions in loans by Anglo Irish Bank to reinvest in the bank’s shares and buyout Seán Quinn’s 10% stake.
Last Wednesday, former Anglo Irish executive Sean FitzPatrick, Pat Whelan and William McAteer denied 16 charges in Court 19 of the Courts of Criminal Justice of unlawfully loaning capital to 10 Irish property developers for the purpose of reinvesting in Anglo Irish Bank to prop its declining share price.
The centrepiece attraction of the Project Drive loan portfolio is secured against the Northside Shopping Centre, one of Dublin’s oldest and most established shopping centres just north the city centre.
Ireland’s property crash curtailed ambitious and ultimately overly expensive plans to redevelop the 1970s shopping centre into a new, modern replacement.
Also within the Project Drive loan pool are nearby industrial properties which could be demolished to enable an enlarged Northside shopping centre in the loan portfolio’s major redevelopment opportunity.
Project Drive also includes loan secured by additional industrial properties north of Dublin, a prestigious house a Golf course in County Kildare, the K Club, which was used during the 2006 Ryder Cup. In addition, there are a number of commercial property developments in Poland.
EY, formerly known as Ernst & Young, is handing the sale of Project Drive for NAMA.
All parties declined to comment.