Saturday 25 March 2017

Administrators will 'seek to put group on a sound footing'

Tim Healy

THE Quinn Insurance Group yesterday withdrew its opposition to the appointment of administrators.

The High Court confirmed the appointment of joint administrators, who had been put in on a provisional basis following an application last month to the court by the Financial Regulator, Matthew Elderfield.

John Hennessy SC, for the regulator, yesterday told the President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, that the company was "no longer opposing" the petition to have Paul McCann and Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton appointed as administrators of Quinn Insurance, which employs some 5,000 people.

The court heard that their role was to carry on the company's affairs as a going concern and conduct business with a view to putting it on a sound commercial footing.

Last month, the regulator's lawyer had told the court that the application arose because of "very serious concerns" about the company's financial position of the company, which operates in both Ireland and the UK.

On Monday, the case was adjourned for a week to allow the parties to exchange affidavits and for a full hearing of the application to take place.

But yesterday afternoon, both sides went before Mr Justice Kearns to say it had been agreed between them that the court could confirm the appointment of the administrators.

Employees

Michael Cush, SC for Quinn, asked that in the event of the administrators seeking further orders from the court, his client should be put on notice of them.

Mr Justice Kearns said that while he was neither accepting all the assertions made by the regulator nor rejecting any claims made by the company, he was satisfied on the basis of the information before him that he could confirm the appointment of the administrators.

The court heard that the regulator was "very conscious" of the concerns of Quinn employees as a result of the appointment of the administrators.

The judge, following a request from Bernard Dunleavy for the administrators, agreed to put the matter back to May 20, when his clients would put a report before the court.

Irish Independent

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