Specialist lender Dilosk has swooped on a portfolio of performing loans in a move aimed at increasing the fledgling firm’s toehold in the market.
It is understood the mortgages are worth close to €60m, with sources pointing to Australian financial services outfit, Pepper Group, as the most likely seller.
The Sydney-based company declined to comment.
A spokeswoman for Dilosk also refused to comment, citing company policy to only discuss completed transactions.
But news of the deal filtered into the market last week after the lender’s ceo, Fergal McGrath, announced a “significant acquisition” at the official launch of its new lending business, ICS Mortgages.
While Mr McGrath refrained from disclosing the scale of the transaction, he told guests at the drinks event in the Royal Hibernian Academy last Thursday that Dilosk had “signed another significant portfolio acquisition of mortgages” and said the deal was expected to “close within months”.
He added an announcement would be issued once the sale is completed.
Dilosk first forged into the market with the purchase of Bank of Ireland’s ICS $223m-plus mortgages platform in 2014. This latest purchase is amid intensifying competition for performing loan portfolios as mainstream banks pursue the same assets in an effort to grow mortgage books constrained by a housing shortage.
Much interest has been focused on the Pepper portfolio.
The company drafted in KPMG last summer to sell a portion of the €600m platform it acquired from GE Capital in 2012, when the Irish economy was teetering on the brink. The sale of the €100m slice has attracted a string of suitors, including Permanent TSB.
The recovering bank entered negotiations to acquire the mortgages last year in what would have marked its first major acquisition since its bail-out by the Irish taxpayer.
But PTSB abandoned the talks in December.
Pepper purchased the GE Capital platform – for a reported 40c on the euro – in partnership with Goldman Sachs, which majority-funded the deal. The US bank declined to comment.
As Ireland’s economy continues to outpace expectations, the volume of loan portfolio sales is expected to increase. Funds are also circling AIB’s book of €1.8bn soured mortgages in what may be the largest deal of the year.
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