Quinn relaunch postponed due to delay with debt deal
TODAY'S planned relaunch of Quinn Insurance as Liberty Direct has been postponed after a delay in striking a deal with the Quinn Group's lenders rendered the deadline unworkable.
Sources last night confirmed that Quinn Insurance is likely to do its last day's trading on Friday, clearing the way for the launch of Liberty Direct next Monday. A formal announcement about Liberty Direct's management team and a general statement of intent is expected on the same day.
As previously revealed by the Irish Independent, Liberty Direct will be headed by Pat O'Brien, a Dublin-based executive from Quinn Insurance's new 51pc-owner Liberty Mutual. A spokesman for Liberty last night declined to comment on the delay to the launch .
The Irish Independent understands, however, that the delay is related to drawn-out negotiations with bondholders of the Quinn Group, who are agreeing to release guarantees over key assets of Quinn Insurance.
Anglo Irish Bank, which is taking a 49pc stake in Quinn Insurance/Liberty Direct and a 75pc stake in the Quinn Group, has been trying to ink a debt deal with bondholders since early October.
That deal was ultimately not signed until October 31, giving Quinn Insurance just four days to complete a complex series of manoeuvres necessary for the sale to go through over the weekend. The number of steps proved too great to finalise," one source admitted, adding that the final approvals from the Central Bank won't be through until this week.