Monday 21 August 2017

Libyans were prepared to invest €1.4bn in BoI

Mr Corrigan also told the Inquiry that the NTMA held the view that Anglo Irish Bank was 'a bottomless pit, fatally flawed'
Mr Corrigan also told the Inquiry that the NTMA held the view that Anglo Irish Bank was 'a bottomless pit, fatally flawed'

Clodagh Sheehy

The Libyan investment authority was keen to invest €1.4bn in Bank of Ireland in late 2010, according to the former CEO of the National Treasury Management Agency, John Corrigan.

The Agency met with the Libyan sovereign fund in Tripoli in December of that year, said Mr Corrigan, to discuss investing in the Irish bank.

He told the Banking Inquiry that the NTMA thought the issue was worth pursuing as the fund was "highly regarded" around the world at the time.

Mr Corrigan said the Libyans made their first approach to Bank of Ireland which then approached the NTMA.

His organisation checked with the Department of Foreign Affairs "as to the appropriateness" from a political point of view "of engaging with the Libyans and they were comfortable for us to do".

The Libyans proposed to take out €1bn of preference shares in the bank which were held by the State.

It was prepared to pay €400m for a 24pc stake in Bank of Ireland, said Mr Corrigan.

In the end, the Libyans pulled back from the deal. "They didn't pursue the negotiations" because "they couldn't be comfortable around a third round of recapitalisation" for Bank of Ireland, which arose the following year.

"They weren't prepared to write a blank cheque," he said.

"From their point of view, it probably was a clever decision not to proceed with it," he added.

A number of officials from the NTMA had travelled to Tripoli and spend the day discussing the issue.

Mr Corrigan also told the Inquiry that the NTMA held the view that Anglo Irish Bank was "a bottomless pit, fatally flawed".

Irish Independent

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