Cerberus has been chosen by the National Asset Management Agency as the preferred bidder for a portfolio of property loans with a face value of about €3 billion, according to Bloomberg.

The US private equity firm will enter exclusive talks to buy the portfolio known as Project Gem, which will likely sell at a substantial discount to its par value, said a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private.

NAMA and Cerberus both declined to comment.

Oaktree Capital Group and Goldman Sachs were also among bidders for the portfolio, the person said.

The portfolio consists mainly of commercial mortgage loans secured on property in Ireland, Germany, and the UK.

Cerberus has bought a number of loans from NAMA, including a portfolio tied to real estate in Northern Ireland known as Project Eagle.

That deal became embroiled in controversy after Independent TD Mick Wallace alleged £7 million of
legal fees associated with the deal wound up in an offshore bank account and were earmarked for an unidentified politician or political party.

All parties involved in the Project Eagle sale deny any wrongdoing.