Cerberus Flying High in Loan Sales Market

Since 2013, Cerberus has bought 20 European loan portfolios to become the biggest buyer of non-performing loans in Europe. Lone Star and Blackstone have also been active, buying loans worth €20bn and €10bn respectively in the last 2.5 years. Each of these companies would have paid a fraction of the face value of the loans as bad banks eagerly sell them to repair their balance sheets.

There are now several major players in the loan sales market, but Cerberus are now the most active player in Ireland and the UK. Last week, Cerberus bought £550m worth of RBS loans for 41% of their value, and in December, they acquired £4.8bn in Irish RBS loans for 23% or their value.

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Lloyd's Exit From Ireland Complete

This week, it was announced that Goldman Sachs and CarVal Investors have won Lloyd's Project Poseidon, paying £827m (€1.18bn) for the commercial property loan portfolio. Project Poisedon was comprised of around 5,000 loans from about 3,500 borrowers, 80% of which were secured by Irish assets, 18% in Northern Ireland. 

This trade was Lloyd's Banking Group's last Irish commercial property loan portfolio, and completes the bank's withdrawal from commercial property lending in Ireland. The Group will now have less than £30m of exposure to Irish commercial assets, a minimal amount compared to the exposures the banking group once represented.

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