Four finalists prepare to submit bids for NAMA’s €785m Project Maeve as Ulster Bank’s €2.6bn Project Finn progresses

Four finalists have progressed to the final round of NAMA’s €785m Project Maeve non-performing loan (NPL) portfolio, secured by 13 commercial properties and development sites owned by Gerry Barrett.

NAMA logoCoStar News understands that Marathon Asset Management, Angelo Gordon, Oaktree Capital Management and Deutsche Bank in partnership with Alanis Capital, the McCormack family’s property investment company, will submit final bids next Tuesday, 23 June.

Marathon is thought to be backing Gerry Barrett, having previously acquired loans  owned by the property developer off market.

Project Maeve, named after Ireland’s mystical Queen Maeve of Connacht whose portrait used to grace the old Irish one pound note, is secured by 13 assets including three boutique hotels and the Scotch Hall shopping centre in Drogheda.

The hotels’ performance is not considered strong while NAMA’s capital expenditure programme for Scotch Hall shopping centre has far from turned the asset around amid strong local competition and ongoing weak occupancy levels.

As such, pricing is expected to come in just below €100m, reflecting a circa 90% discount on the outstanding loan balance. 

The three hotels are: the five-star G Hotel in Galway, the only five-star hotel in the city; the four-star D Hotel in Drogheda and the four-star Meyrick hotel in Galway.

Additionally, there are retail and residential properties in Galway, one property in Portugal as well as commercial and residential development sites.

The bulk of Project Maeve’s €7.6m total annual income is derived from the assets in Galway and Drogheda, including a combined 2015 forecast EBITDA of €1.8m for the three hotels.       

Cushman & Wakefield’s Corporate Finance team in London is selling Project Maeve on behalf of NAMA.

Project Maeve was previously dubbed Project Milner.

Elsewhere in NAMA’s stable of pending loan portfolios, Project Jewel is still a week away from finally launching, which is the loan book for Joe O’Reilly’s Chartered Land which includes the 1.3m sq ft Dundrum Town Centre, Ireland’s largest shopping centre.

O’Reilly is expected to team up with an international investor in an effort to win back his firm’s portfolio. Competition is expected to come from Simon Property Group and Norges as well as broader sovereign wealth fund interest. 

Eastdil Secured is acting as sell-side adviser on Project Jewell

NAMA’s €8.4bn Project Arrow, with a real estate value of between €1bn and €1.5bn, is also expected to finally launch in the coming weeks, while the bad bank’s €1.5bn Project Tolka, secured by the loans of developers Paddy Kelly, John Flynn and Alanis Capital, is understood to have stalled and could even be pulled.

Elsewhere in Ireland, RBS’s Ulster Bank and Lloyds Banking Group are progressing their respective clean-up trades with the €2.55bn Project Finn and €4.2bn Project Poseidon

Ulster Bank’s €2.55bn Project Finn, which is being sold by KPMG, is comprised of three tranches:

  • €1.5bn of commercial real estate loans in Ireland, comprised of around 290 borrower connections and 1,200 properties. The estimated real estate value in the tranche is around €700m;
  • €750m of buy-to-let residential mortgages in Ireland, understood to be sourced from Ulster Bank’s ‘good bank’. There are around 2,000 separate borrowers with a real estate value around the €400m mark;
  • €300m of SME loans in Ireland, extended to operating companies which own retail units, such as Spar convince stores, car parks and nursing homes.

CoStar News understands that Ulster Bank’s €2.55bn Project Finn is expected to trade below €1.2bn.

RBS is accepting bids across individual tranches. Lone Star, Oaktree, Sankaty Advisors, Cerberus, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are all expected to submit final bids. 

All parties declined to comment.

About CoStar News

Finance Editor, CoStar News
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