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NAMA completes €800m deal to sell luxury London hotel loans

The sale of €800m in debts of a luxury London hotel chain is the National Treasury Management Agency’s biggest sale to date.

The famous Claridges hotel in London is one of those involved in today's major deal.
The famous Claridges hotel in London is one of those involved in today's major deal.
Image: Andy Butterton/PA Archive

THE NATIONAL ASSET Management Agency has completed its biggest property transaction to date, after finalising an €800m deal with the owners of the Daily Telegraph newspaper to transfer the ownership of a company which controls three luxury London hotels.

The State’s ‘bad bank’ reached an agreement with Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, which sees the brothers acquire around €800m of debt secured on the Maybourne Hotel Group, which owns three of the city’s best-known hotels.

The brothers had purchased a 25 per cent stake in the group in January, and today’s deal will effectively mean the hotel group – which includes the five-star Claridges, Connaught and Berkeley hotels – is now entirely in the brothers’ hands.

NAMA had acquired the original loans, taken out to buy the hotels, from AIB and Anglo Irish Bank. The loans had originally been taken out by a syndicate led by Derek Quinlan.

In a statement this lunchtime NAMA said it had recovered the entirety of the original value of the loans, plus interest, through the sale of the loans to the Barclays’ investment vehicle Maybourne Finance Ltd.

Sky News’ city editor Mark Kleinman reports, however, that an order is being sought in the High Court in London to overturn NAMA’s sale of the loans.

Among the other developers involved in Quinlan’s syndicate were developer Paddy McKillen, who has previously taken court action in Ireland against NAMA’s acquisition of his loans.

The London deal, provided it is concluded, would dwarf NAMA’s previous property sales, which have included the sale of Dublin’s tallest building to Google for €99.9m earlier this year.

More: Google snaps up NAMA’s Montevetro for €99.9m >

Read: NAMA posts losses of €714m for 2010 >

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Gavan Reilly

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