Tuesday 27 June 2017

Quinn debt secured on property and family business

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

BUSINESSMAN Sean Quinn's €2.8bn debt to the state-owned Anglo Irish Bank is secured on a portfolio of international property and on his insurance company, he has revealed.

However, the value of these assets is estimated to be less than €1bn leaving him with a significant gap to fill.

But a bullish Mr Quinn has insisted the €2bn shortfall would be "very easily paid back".

In an interview on RTE's 'Prime Time' last night, the Co Fermanagh tycoon agreed it was a mistake to buy the Anglo shares which left the Quinn Group seriously undermined.

Despite this, Mr Quinn is adamant he can pay back his debt without the involvement of the taxpayer and said he is hopeful to regain family control of Quinn Insurance, which is now under administration and up for sale.

The Quinn family are the biggest debtors of Anglo and if their debts cannot be recouped, the bank's capital will fall below levels required by regulations, triggering a need for further money from the taxpayer.

Substantial

The debt is secured against a portfolio of international property, scattered across nine countries, and Quinn Insurance. Mr Quinn said the value of this property is "substantial".

Under a new plan for the insurer, Mr Quinn wants to see it stay within the Quinn Group for the next seven years when its profits would be ring-fenced to repay the family's debt.

The businessman said he was "totally" unaware of the so-called 'Golden Circle' of 10 Anglo investors who were brought in in 2008 to buy bank shares which had been originally built up by him.

He refused to say whether or not he had been in contact at the time with former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick and former chief executive David Drumm. "I'm not going into that whole scene. All I can tell you is that we (the Quinns) didn't do anything wrong with Anglo or anybody else.

"We admitted that we had taken money out of Quinn Direct which we shouldn't have. I paid the price for that and I resigned," he added.

And Mr Quinn said he feels personally responsible for the 900 job losses at the insurance company. "I mean if they were being laid off because they were losing money, then I could understand it. They're laid off by the most profitable insurance company in Ireland for 10 consecutive years, margin-wise... when you're laid off because Sean Quinn, the chairman, lost €3bn in shares, it's tough."

Irish Independent

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