Page last updated at 22:38 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 23:38 UK

Talks due over Quinn Group plan

Quinn Insurance employs 600 people in County Fermanagh
Quinn Insurance employs 600 people in County Fermanagh

Talks are expected to take place between the Anglo Irish Bank and the Irish financial regulator this weekend.

The bank is lobbying for a postponement of Monday's court hearing to confirm the appointment of provisional administrators to Quinn Insurance.

Dublin's High Court put Quinn Insurance into administration for breaching solvency rules and it was ordered not to write any new UK business.

Sean Quinn has rejected a plan by the bank to invest 700m euros in the group.

Mr Quinn said the Quinn Group has 'plenty of money' and it does not need a cash injection.

Mr Quinn was reacting to the proposal by Anglo Irish Bank to invest 700m euros as part of a restructuring package.

The Quinn family and their businesses owe 4bn euros to various banks, the bulk of it to Anglo Irish Bank.

Speaking to RTE on Thursday, Sean Quinn said that the Quinn Group has plenty of money and does not need a cash boost.

"We don't need money, with regard to solvency and a requirement to pay claims.'

He said the Quinn Group was 'cash rich' and had money in the bank.

Mr Quinn said the company had about £1bn to pay claims and another 400m euros on top of that surplus for solvency.

The businessman said the financial regulator considered this was "a bit on the light side" and felt there should be another 100m euros there.


If the Anglo Irish Bank plan was agreed it would become majority shareholder in the Quinn Group.

It would see 150m euros injected into Quinn Insurance and 550m euros would be used to pay off bondholders.

It is understood the plan faces significant obstacles. The Financial Regulator, Matthew Elderfield, has some concerns and the deal would also have to be approved by the European Commission.

Over the past week, Quinn employees and politicians have put pressure on Mr Elderfield to overturn both the administration and the ban on undertaking new business in the UK.

The Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, has said the independence of his country's regulator must "be respected" in the search for a Quinn Insurance resolution.

Speaking in Dublin on Thursday, he said every person had a "role to play" in resolving the issue, but that the independence of the regulator must not be compromised.

Rallies in support of the employees at Quinn Insurance took place in Cavan and Enniskillen earlier this week. Another planned for outside the regulator's office in Dublin on Friday was cancelled.

"Ample liquidity"

The joint provisional administrators of Quinn Insurance Ltd (QIL) wrote to Irish insurance brokers on Thursday to reassure them the firm continues to trade as a going concern and that "all of its liabilities are being met as they fall due".

"In the history of the administration process since it was introduced in 1983, no company which has gone into administration has gone into liquidation," the statement said.

The statement also said the company might apply to the High Court for access to the Insurance Compensation Fund for money they require to carry on the business and "perform our other functions under the relevant legislation".

On Thursday the Quinn Group founder said the company made 30m euros in the month of March.

Mr Quinn, along with his family, was listed as the twelfth richest on The Sunday Times Richlist in 2008 as being worth £3.73bn.

The Quinn family and their businesses owe their lenders around 4bn euros.

A statement from the Quinn Group and family said the debt of 2.8bn euros owed to Anglo Irish Bank was secured on the family's international property portfolio and their shareholding in Quinn Group.

It said Quinn Insurance had "ample liquidity" and that if the firm could be removed from administration there would be "no difficulty in repaying both the group and family debt as well as continuing to provide long-term employment for all concerned".

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