Bad loans agency Nama is close to finalising an agreement to bring a private investor on board to the special purpose vehicle (SPV) that will buy almost €80bn of toxic property loans.

Getting the SPV in place is necessary before the loans can be transferred as it will keep the debt off the government's books.

"The Department of Finance understands that a number of parties have indicated an interest in becoming shareholders in the Nama SPV," the department said.

While the private investors will control 51% of the special purpose vehicle, finance minister Brian Lenihan said the majority of its board will be appointed by Nama, and it will have the final say on its decisions.

Nama expects to take delivery of its first loans by the end of this month. The agency has been finalising its service providers and personnel.

The agency late on Friday appointed five firms to provide "loan and associated valuation services" to it.

The firms include PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has already been hired as Nama's tax adviser, Ernst & Young – the former auditors to Anglo Irish Bank – Alvarez and Marsal, FTI Consulting and UHY Hacker Young.

John Mulcahy, who was seconded from Jones Lang LaSalle to the National Treasury Management Agency to work on establishing Nama, was last week appointed its head of portfolio management.

Meanwhile, several institutions that are transferring assets to Nama have already finalised their own due diligence on their loan books. It is understood Anglo Irish Bank, which is selling the most loans to Nama, has completed due diligence on its biggest borrowers in the last few days, while EBS Building Society finalised its due diligence some weeks ago.