Cerberus Preferred Bidder for $7 Billion of Irish Bad Loans

A unit of Cerberus Capital Management LP has been chosen as the preferred bidder for bad loans with a face value of 6.3 billion euros ($7 billion) by Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency.

The U.S. private equity firm’s bid meets NAMA’s “expectation of the proceeds that could have been realized from the management and sale of over 1,900 individual assets,” Chairman Frank Daly said in a statement Friday. No sale price was disclosed.

The sale is NAMA’s largest by face value since it was set up in 2009 to take over about 74 billion euros of risky commercial real-estate assets from the nation’s lenders. Apollo Global Management LLC was the only other remaining bidder for the loans.

The Project Arrow debt had a reserve price of more than 1 billion euros when 7.6 billion euros of loans were initially offered for sale. The amount fell to 6.3 billion euros because some loans were sold before the final bids, NAMA said Oct. 1.

Cerberus also succeeded in NAMA’s previous record sale, acquiring a 4.5 billion-pound ($6.9 billion) Northern Irish loan book. Police in the province opened a criminal probe into the transaction in July, investigating claims that some legal fees tied to the deal ended up in the private bank account of a Belfast-based lawyer. Cerberus has said it acted completely “professionally and properly at all times” on the transaction.

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