Orrick represented the arrangers on two landmark NPE securitisations in Greece. Projects “Phoenix” and “Vega”, both which aim to decrease the significant nonperforming loan exposure of Piraeus Bank, one of Greece’s four systemic banks. We represented UBS Europe and Alantra on Phoenix and UBS Europe, J.P. Morgan and Alantra for Vega.
The Phoenix transaction, which closed in December 2020 with a single Irish DAC, securitised approximately €1.9 billion of non-performing residential mortgage backed loans funded by the issuance of three classes of notes. The Vega portfolio, comprising non-performing residential mortgage backed loans and loans to corporates and SMEs with a combined gross book value of approximately €4.9 billion, was securitised in March 2021 through three Irish DACs each issuing three classes of notes. Piraeus Bank has retained at least 5% of the notes of each class under each transaction in order to comply with EU risk retention requirements.
Applications have been submitted for both transactions to be included in Greece’s Hercules Asset Protection Scheme (HAPS), a state guarantee scheme for NPL ABS notes which was launched in December 2019 and was modeled after the successful Italian “GACS” scheme. Phoenix and Vega are among the first transactions to qualify to receive such a guarantee. Piraeus Bank and Intrum AB have announced a binding agreement for the sale and purchase of 30% of the mezzanine notes and 50% of the junior notes issued under the Phoenix and Vega transactions.