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Wells Fargo buys $1.4bn portfolio of loans from Bank of Ireland

Wells Fargo has won a bid for Bank of Ireland's $1.4bn US commercial-real-estate loan portfolio as part of broader efforts by the Irish bank to deleverage.

The Wall Street Journal has reported people familiar with the matter as saying that the 25 loans, sold close to face value, were backed primarily by properties in New York, Boston and Washington.

The deleveraging follows the order from the Irish financial regulator in March to cut the bank’s loan portfolio by EUR30bn ($43bn), by the end of 2013.

More than 25 major real-estate investors and banks including Lone Star Funds, Blackstone Group LP and TPG Capital had participated in the bidding, according to Wall Street Journal.

Earlier in May, Wells Fargo in partnership with Blackstone Group had purchase about $1bn in commercial mortgages from Allied Irish Banks.

The real-estate investors and banks are also focused on another sale in the offing from Anglo Irish Bank Corp.’s $9.5bn portfolio of performing, sub-performing and non-performing loans.

The portfolio includes the debt for trophy properties such as New York’s Apthorp luxury condo and Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton.