Huge response to Irish Nationwide debt buyback

Nationalised lender Irish Nationwide has had a near 100 percent take-up for its coercive buyback of £146.2m ($236m) of subordinated at an 80 percent discount.

The lender, being wound down as part of an EU/IMF bailout, said investors holding £125.7m of bonds due 2016 and £20.5m of notes due 2018 had agreed to the buyback by an early deadline of March 8.

Irish Nationwide had said the offer applied to £126m of bonds due 2015 and £20.6m due 2018.

The company has extended the deadline for its early tender payment to March 18 due to the strong response.

Bondholders who do not accept the offer by March 18 will be offered 0.001 percent of the bonds' face value.

Irish banks have been imposing losses on junior bondholders as part of government efforts to claw back some of the cost of bailing out the banks after years of reckless property lending.

Ireland's banking crisis forced the government to seek emergency assistance from the EU and the IMF and the eventual cost of purging the sector of bad debts and recapitalising it could top an eye-watering €80bn, over half of Ireland's annual economic output.

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