Allianz Real Estate and Hammerson have bought a portfolio of Irish loans backed by retail property assets.

The German insurer and UK REIT bought the portfolio from Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).

Allianz said it was investing €900m, while Hammerson said its share of the acquisition was €1.23bn.

NAMA, however, said the portfolio was sold for €1.85bn. 

The face value of the loans is €2.57bn.

The portfolio, known as Project Jewel, is backed by retail properties in Dublin.

Allianz is taking a 50% stake in the largest asset in the portfolio, the 1.5m sqft Dundrum Town Centre.

Annette Kröger, chief executive at Allianz Real Estate Germany, said: “Our investment into Project Jewel is an important step to a further diversification of Allianz’s real estate portfolio. It is a very attractive opportunity to get exposure to the dynamic Irish market.”

Allianz recently made its Irish real estate debt debut, financing a portfolio acquired by Starwood.

The German institutional investor extended a €150m loan as part of a financing package with Morgan Stanley, which itself provided €300m.

Allianz earlier this year said it was looking for debt opportunities in Ireland

Head of debt Roland Fuchs told a press briefing at MIPIM in March that the real estate arm of the German insurer would begin lending in Ireland this year.