Final bidders battle for Ulster Bank portfolio

FOUR investment firms have been named as the final bidders for a portfolio of assets being sold by Ulster Bank

he portfolio, which is being traded under the moniker ‘Project Achill’ has a par value of €1.2bn.

It includes a host of commercial properties including business parks and hotels in the UK, a number of apartments in Belfast and residential properties in north Dublin.

The portfolio also covers several office buildings in central Dublin.

The portfolio was expected to attract a lot of interest and so it has proved.

US investors Cerberus Capital Management, Lone Star, and Oaktree Capital Management have all progressed to the second and final round of the bidding process, CoStar reported. Deutsche Bank has also gone through and is the sole European representative to have progressed.

As well as the bids for the entire portfolio, individual borrowers were allowed to make an offer for their loans. It is believed a number of these bidders have also been able to make it to the final round of the process.

The final deadline for bids is now September 19.

‘Project Achill’ has long been seen as one of the more attractive portfolios within the Ulster Bank business.

Ulster is deleveraging sharply on the instructions of its parent Royal Bank of Scotland, which is still majority owned by British taxpayers.

When the process is complete, Ulster is expected to have sold off as much as €11bn worth of assets.

Loans to developers Paddy McKillen, Eugene Larkin, and Kevin and Michael Corbett are all understood to be included in the portfolio, which is 83pc made up of Irish property. UK loans make up the balance.

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