Reuters: Ex-Lone Star Executive’s Fund to Set Up Irish Unit – Source

(Reuters) – A new private equity fund set up by ex-Lone Star Vice Chairman Ellis Short to buy loan books across Europe is establishing a unit in Ireland, a source close to the matter said.

Irish property prices are rising again following a huge crash and some property portfolios are being put up for sale, drawing growing interest from private equity and investment funds, particularly those in the United States.

Short’s Kildare Partners, which according to its website is being set up to target non- or sub-performing real estate related portfolios in western European, will open its Irish office in the coming weeks, the source said on Thursday.

It will be headed by Emer Finnan, who was finance chief at the Educational Building Society (EBS) before it was taken over by Allied Irish Banks as part of a sector-wide restructuring. Finnan is currently head of financial institutions at Investec Ireland.

The source did not disclose how much Kildare intends to raise to invest in distressed assets in Europe. A spokesman for the firm could not immediately be reached for comment.

Kildare enters Ireland as Danske Bank begins to sell the troubled loans of its Irish unit and as Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, the liquidation vehicle for the failed Anglo Irish Bank, prepares to bring a large portfolio to the market.

The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), the state-owned “bad bank” that spent 32 billion euros to rid domestic banks of their soured property loans, is also in the process of disposing of the assets and loan books it took over.