Business Irish

Friday 23 June 2017

Quinn warns of empire's failure

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Splattered tycoon Sean Quinn has warned of "certain and catastrophic failure" of the business empire he no longer controls because of an "ill-conceived and highly damaging" rescue plan.

Quinn was declared bankrupt on Friday across the border in a Belfast court. Quinn and his family owe the state-owned Anglo Irish Bank €2.9bn. Quinn claimed he "cannot now pay those loans which are due".

The former billionaire's move to seek voluntary bankruptcy in Belfast is the largest bankruptcy ever taken on the island and one of the largest in the world. He is left with "minimal assets", according to his lawyer. The Quinn family are embroiled in lawsuits with Anglo over the alleged transfer of assets away from the bank's control.

Quinn's bankruptcy dwarfs that of Nelson Bunker Hunt, the commodities investor who lost nearly €1.8bn when a massive punt on silver prices went pear-shaped in the Eighties.

Anglo, renamed IBRC, announced it was examining "the validity" of Quinn's bankruptcy in Belfast proceedings, citing his residency in Cavan and business interests here.

Bankruptcy laws in the UK are much less onerous than in Ireland and Quinn may now be able to return to business unburdened by debt after one year rather than 12 years here.

Quinn said he would not "be pointing fingers or making excuses" before blaming Anglo for his problems.

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