The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) and Starwood Capital Group, a leading global private investment firm, announced today a new joint venture relating to the sale of NAMA’s portfolio of loans known as Project Aspen.
Under the terms of the agreement, NAMA will sell the loan portfolio to the new joint venture entity, which will be 20% owned by NAMA and 80% owned by a consortium led by Starwood. Other members of the consortium include Key Capital Real Estate and Catalyst Capital.
The sale of the loan portfolio commenced in February 2013, with more than 60 parties actively participating in the process. NAMA and Starwood entered into exclusive discussions in early April.
The structured sale enables NAMA to capitalize on the current robust interest from global investors in Irish commercial property assets and at the same time participate in the continuing recovery of the Irish commercial property market.
NAMA will provide a senior secured loan (vendor finance) to the joint venture, with an initial loan to value of less than 60%. The loan will carry a commercial rate of interest, and is expected to be repaid within five years.
Starwood is a global investment firm with a core focus on global real estate, and currently has more than $23 billion in assets under management. Its portfolio of assets includes the construction and real estate owned assets of the former Corus Bank, NA in the United States, in which it led a consortium of other partners.
Brendan McDonagh, CEO of NAMA commented: “NAMA is very happy with the successful outcome of the loan sale process and we welcome Starwood to partner with us in resolving the portfolio. The transaction has a number of innovative features, including NAMA vendor financing and equity participation.”
“We look forward to a successful working relationship with NAMA and are excited about this investment opportunity,” said Jeffrey Dishner, Senior Managing Director at Starwood. “Since 2009, Starwood has taken on over $7 billion in non-performing loans as a key part of our distressed investment strategy and demonstrated an ability to work in partnership with financial institutions throughout the world to successfully manage the portfolios to meet their needs while achieving strong investment results for our investors.”
NAMA engaged Eastdil Secured, to manage the sale on its behalf.