Nama To Sell Hotel Loan Portfolio At Huge Discount

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Nama To Sell Hotel Loan Portfolio At Huge Discount

Nama will sell loans worth €778 million tied to Irish property developer Gerry Barrett at a discount of nearly 90 per cent.

According to the Irish Independent, Nama has picked Deutsche Bank as its preferred bidder to take on the loan portfolio, known as Project Maeve. The bank will take on the portfolio for a cut price of €97 million.

Project Maeve is backed by three renowned hotels: the five-star G Hotel in Galway (pictured), the D Hotel in Drogheda and Hotel Meyrick in Galway, both four stars.

Former owner Gerry Barrett, one of Nama's largest clients, is probably best known for his purchase of Ashford Castle in 2007 for nearly €55 million, which later went into receivership. The property was subsequently bought by the Red Carnation group for €20 million and has since reopened.

The former maths teacher built a property empire in Galway in the 1980s and 90s and was one of Anglo Irish Bank's major clients. The crash saw his properties' value decrease dramatically, the Meyrick, for example, dropped from €70 million to just under €8 million in value in five years from 2007 to 2011.

The sizable discount represents the weak performance of the assets, the G Hotel excluded. It is the first major portfolio Nama has sold in 2015, with several others on the market.