Over the past few weeks, we've been keeping abreast of the recent loan sales happening across the UK and Ireland, including NAMA's Project Maeve and Project Albion. There is seemingly no end to the number of portfolios up for grabs, as UK life insurer and pensions provider Aviva is set to sell its Project Churchill UK loan portfolio.
Aviva has been searching for a buyer for the £2.7bn Project Churchill portfolio, having narrowed the number of potential buyers from five down to three finalists. Apollo Global Management, Lone Star, and Cerberus Capital Management are all in the running for the legacy UK commercial property loan portfolio.
Cerberus, of course, is now one of the biggest players in Ireland in this space and we could see them adding to their holdings here, but no matter who acquires this portfolio, another set of legacy commercial property loans will be transferred from a UK lender to an American private equity firm.
One thousand and twenty commercial properties are included in Project Churchill, which is quite a lot of property. This will result in many more people being affected by loan sales when the deadline for bids closes in August.
When this latest loan sale completes, the owners of these commercial property loans, which include distribution warehouses, care homes, department stores, multi-let retail, office and industrial properties, shopping centres, a Rolls Royce depot, and central London and regional office centres, could find themselves under very different repayment terms than under their original Aviva terms.
All of them will have to find new capital partners very quickly who will assist them in the restructuring they will be required to do, as the new owners of the loans will demand this or else they will implement their own business plan.
GDP Partnership has been helping borrowers affected by loan sales over the last two years and we now have capital partners in place to help you move forward. If you are affected by this or any other loan sale, please feel free to get in touch with our office, as our team is ready to assist.
NAMA are expected to sell €30bn of loans in the next 18 months, so this is certainly going to be a very interesting market place.
Conor Devine MRICS