THE NATIONAL ASSET Management Agency (NAMA) has sold 17 per cent of its investment arm to a UK firm, the State’s ‘bad bank’ announced today.
NAMA, which was set up in the wake of the financial crisis, has sold a 17 per cent of its holding company to Walbrook Capital, a London-based firm that was set up last year to seek ‘long-term investments in the credit, real estate and renewable energy sectors’.
The stake in the NAMA Investment Ltd (NAMAIL), which was established to facilitate private investors’ participation in NAMA, was previously held by Irish Life.
However, the stake had to be sold after the EU’s statistics office, Eurostat, warned that the NAMA’s €30 billion of government bonds would appear on the national debt if the State’s holding in NAMA exceeded 50 per cent.
Michael Keeley, from Walbrook Capital, said in a statement: “The decision to invest in NAMAIL followed a careful assessment of the outlook for the Irish economy and in particular its property sector, which we believe is now close to stabilisation.
“Furthermore, we were impressed by the NAMA management team and the progress that they have achieved to date. Consequently, we believe that NAMAIL represents an excellent long term investment opportunity.”
Other private sector investors in NAMAIL are New Ireland Assurance and Percy Nominees with the remaining 49 per cent of the holding company owned by NAMA which has a veto over decisions the company takes.