Anglo in two-week wait to argue Quinn ban in Cyprus
Published 01/10/2011 | 05:00
ANGLO Irish Bank will have to wait another fortnight to argue for the lifting of a Cypriot injunction banning the bank from interfering with key assets in the €500m international property portfolio compiled by the Quinn family.
The bank had been hoping to be heard on its efforts to convince a Nicosia court to lift the temporary injunction yesterday. The court received new papers from both Anglo and the Quinns, but an oral hearing on the matter was postponed until October 11.
Discussion on a contentious affidavit which Anglo is trying to have admitted into the case was also postponed. The affidavit contains specific allegations about the Quinns' efforts to remove assets from the property empire and "denude" Anglo of the bank's entitlements.
In a submission to the Cypriot court, the Quinns described the affidavit as "scandalous, irrelevant, as well as vexatious and frivolous" and said the evidence may have been "obtained illegally".
Anglo and the Quinns are also arguing over who should have jurisdiction in the case. A Dublin court recently said it would consult the European Court of Justice on Anglo's bid to have the case heard in Ireland, a move that could delay proceedings by up to two years.
Anglo swooped on the property portfolio on April 14, the same day it took control of the Quinns' manufacturing empire and agreed a deal to take over Quinn Insurance Limited with US insurer Liberty Mutual.
The international property element has been fraught with legal difficulties. Anglo claims the Quinns have set up a "mirror structure" of firms that will take assets from the companies the bank has a claim on. The Quinns deny this.
Anglo also claims the Quinns have already begun to move assets beyond the bank's control, including transferring the ownership of the portfolio's most valuable asset -- the $180m (€132m) Kustoff Tower in Moscow -- away from a company that Anglo has control of.
The Quinns argue that Anglo has no right to take over the property companies, since the bank is enforcing loans that were granted for the "illegal" purpose of propping up Anglo's own share price.
The loans were used by Quinn Group founder Sean Quinn to convert his contracts for difference bet on the price of Anglo shares into actual shares. If he hadn't done this, the bank's share price would have been adversely affected by a flood of stock into the market.