British property company Hammerson is in active talks with Irish banks about acquiring property-related assets from them in Ireland and Britain and has a war chest that will allow it to acquire individual portfolios worth more than €1bn.

Investment sources in London said the company is looking to purchase property loans and will also look at direct investment in property. It will also look at asset-managing portfolios of properties for the Irish banks.

The property company is in a closed period at present and therefore cannot comment.

London sources said Hammerson's business development directors, Kevin Crowley, a Carlow native, and Simon Travis, have been tasked by the bank to find new business opportunities in Ireland and Britain. They are not expected to have any interest in development land and will instead focus on retail and office properties, in which they specialise.

"The loans are one route they're looking at because the banks are happier to have conversations about loans rather than properties," an investment source said. "They will be willing to come in and recapitalise loans. They're a joint venture partner with some of the most recognisable sovereign wealth funds in the world."

The Abu Dhabi Investment Investment Authority and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation are among those to have entered joint venture developments with Hammerson, while it has also had relationships with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

The company has also worked with Irish developers. Ballymore is a joint venture partner with Hammerson on schemes planned for near the City of London and for Paddington in central London. It is also an investor with Bank of Ireland private clients in an office tower on the site of the former London Stock Exchange in the City.

Hammerson had a market cap last week of just under £2.7bn and has a portfolio valued at nearly £5bn. It is the fourth-largest Real Estate Investment Trust in Britain, meaning it is exempted from corporation tax on rental income and gains on British investment properties, but individual shareholders are required to pay a tax on what are effectively dividends from the company.