Anglo's Quinn bid not yet approved but partnership with family still unlikely
Published 17/01/2011 | 05:00
ANGLO Irish Bank's bid for Quinn Insurance has not yet gotten a sign-off from the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) because the bank has yet to make a final submission, the Irish Independent has learned.
But sources stressed that even though some details of the Anglo plan were still in flux, the chances of Sean Quinn's family being included in any potential bid were "negligible".
The comments came amid mounting local and political pressure for Anglo to revive a bid with the family of Mr Quinn, in the hopes of preserving the maximum number of jobs in Quinn Insurance's 1,600-strong workforce.
Weekend reports suggested the NTMA has already thrown its weight behind a joint bid from Anglo and US insurer Liberty Mutual.
Sources last night rejected this. "Anglo hasn't even submitted a bid to the NTMA yet, so there's no question of anything being approved," said one source close to the process.
It is understood that Anglo is still finalising some details of the QIL plan and hopes to have a submission to the NTMA by the end of the week.
The submission will then need to be approved by the Central Bank, as Anglo's prudential regulator, and by the Department of Finance, as Anglo's shareholder.
It is understood that the details still being pinned down are technical and financial, and do not relate to the core proposal that would see Anglo and Liberty take over the insurer.
Anglo believes this deal, which will see Liberty stump up a significant amount of the €600m needed to recapitalise QIL, represents the best result for the taxpayer and has the best chance of being approved by the regulator.
The nationalised bank is trying to secure repayment of a €2.8bn loan owed by the Quinn family, while also minimising the upfront contribution from the taxpayer and minimising the risk of future losses.
The Quinn family argue that the national interest would be better served by a Quinn family/Anglo proposal, which was being actively pursued by the bank until mid-December.
A well-attended meeting in Quinn's Cavan heartland strongly endorsed the Quinn family/Anglo plan on Friday night, and cross-party politicians are throwing their weight behind it.
The group will heap pressure on Finance Minister Brian Lenihan to allow time in the Dail to debate the QIL situation this week, while Mr Quinn's representatives are also believed to be seeking an urgent meeting with the Finance Minister.
A spokeswoman for Mr Lenihan last night declined to say whether he would be willing to meet with Mr Quinn's representatives.
In a written response in the Dail last week, Mr Lenihan stressed that it was QIL's joint administrators who would make the "final decision" on the insurer's future.