The National Asset Management Agency has published a letter which it claims disproves a statement made by Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace in relation to the bidding process for the agency’s Project Eagle loan portfolio.
In a radio interview yesterday, Mr Wallace said he was informed by a managing director of the US-based Fortress Investment Group that NAMA did not permit the firm to increase its bid for the Northern Ireland loan portfolio.
NAMA said correspondence received from Fortress’s Managing Director Michael George on 2 April 2014 showed the company was "unwilling to pay NAMA's minimum price, which was exceeded by another bidder, Cerberus.
"Fortress was only willing to buy the Eagle portfolio if NAMA failed to get its minimum price from another bidder.
"There is no indication in the correspondence that Fortress was likely to be in a position to improve on the offer of £1.075 billion, which it had submitted," NAMA’s statement added.
In the published letter, Mr George writes: "If you don’t hit your reserve we’d like to continue discussions with you either for the whole thing or some subset of it".
The agency said it had sent a copy of the letter to Mr Wallace.
A spokesperson for NAMA said the agency was able to release the letter as it was no longer commercially sensitive information.
It follows the publication of a report on Wednesday by the Comptroller and Auditor General into the sale of NAMA's Northern Ireland portfolio, which found the agency incurred a potential loss to the taxpayer of £190m on the sale after previous write downs were included.