07/15/2011

Bidders for Anglo Irish Portfolio Court Lenders

Investors planning to bid on all or part of the $9.7 billion loan portfolio being shopped by Anglo Irish Bank were actively trying to line up financing commitments from lenders this week.

Few solid pledges have been made so far, but market players said Deutsche Bank has tentatively agreed to back the team of Blackstone and Goldman Sachs.

Meanwhile, investors said Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan were separately telling prospective bidders that as part of a financing commitment, they want the first crack at acquiring some Anglo Irish loans that the buyers plan to flip. The banks are interested in some of the performing loans, which make up almost half of the portfolio.

One investor said that a number of bidders were pursuing a commitment from Wells, which has been one of the most-aggressive lenders since the lending markets revived.

Anglo Irish and its broker, Eastdil Secured, have carved the 248-loan portfolio into eight pools ranging in size from $540 million to $2.3 billion. Some investors want to bid on the entire portfolio. That has encouraged the formation of bidding teams in order to create enough firepower. But Anglo Irish is under orders from the Irish government to maximize its returns, so it would sell the pools individually if that provided the best execution.

In addition to Blackstone and Goldman, several other investment groups have been formed to bid on the portfolio. Among them:

Lone Star Funds and fund operator Artemis Real Estate.

Oaktree Capital, Vornado Realty, Cerberus Capital and LNR Partners.

Private equity shop TPG and LoanCore Capital.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Westbrook Partners.

Other investors thought to be pursuing all or part of the Anglo Irish portfolio include Apollo Global, AREA Property, Carlyle Group, Colony Capital, Fortress Investment and Starwood Capital.

Meanwhile, firms that provide advisory and asset-management services are also looking to get into the action. CB Richard Ellis, for example, would provide advisory services to the team of TPG and LoanCore, while Trimont Real Estate would handle due diligence.

The buzz is that servicing shop Midland Loan Services is also looking for a bidding group to work with, as is H/2 Capital.

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