LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Bank of Ireland and Goldman Sachs have agreed to acquire a portfolio of Irish commercial loans with a face value of 540 million euros ($617 million) from Danske Bank, Bank of Ireland announced on Thursday.
Bank of Ireland will acquire 274 million euros of performing Irish commercial loans consisting of over 1,000 customers in the SME, agricultural and commercial real estate sectors, while Goldman Sachs will acquire 266 million euros of loans.
Danske decided to sell the portfolio of non-core loans, called Project Griffin Loan Portfolio Sale, as part of a continued wind down of its non-core division, Danske Bank Ireland, Danske said in a statement.
Goldman has mandated asset management firm Pepper Asset Servicing in Ireland to service the portfolio on the bank's behalf.
Both banks will acquire the portfolios via their balance sheets and the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.
Banks have had renewed appetite to put balance sheets to work and grow loan books to increase incomes on higher yielding assets with lower default risks, banking sources said. ($1 = 0.8752 euros) (Editing by Christopher Mangham)