Allied Irish unloads $1 billion U.S. portfolio to Blackstone, Wells Fargo

Allied Irish Banks has struck a deal to sell a portfolio worth around $1 billion in U.S. commercial mortgages to Blackstone Group and Wells Fargo & Co., in a move to take advantage of a U.S. commercial property recovery and reduce their holdings of troubled loans. According to the Wall Street Journal, the portfolio represents more than 50 percent of the bank’s U.S. real estate holdings and includes pieces of loans in trophy buildings such as the MetLife building at 200 Park Avenue in New York City, and the Grand Del Mar resort in San Diego.

The deal was for roughly 7 percent to 15 percent discount off the face value of the loans. Blackstone is paying mid-$80s in on the dollar for around half of the portfolio and Wells Fargo is paying in the low-$90s for the other half. The assets going to Wells Fargo are less distressed, according to the Journal. Allied Irish has negotiated a higher price than other recent deals as competition for distressed real estate assets skyrockets.

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The deal comes less than a month after Bank of Ireland, another troubled Irish lender, announced that it was offloading $1.5 billion in U.S. commercial real estate holdings. Anglo Irish Bank Corp. is also being pressured by regulators to get rid of its $10 billion portfolio. [WSJ]