Saturday 22 July 2017

Quinn's family and allies purged by administrators

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

QUINN Insurance's administrators have purged the family and close allies of Sean Quinn from the boards of all the insurer's subsidiaries as they prepare the companies for sale.

A spokesman for the administrators last night confirmed that family and associates of the Quinn family had been removed from all 25 boards.

The administrators were given the power to control the boards when they were appointed by the courts in April. Existing board members could have been forced out by a receivership or shareholder meeting.

Instead, the administrators contacted the Quinn Group and arranged for an 'orderly resignation' of most existing directors and the appointment of the administrators to all 25 boards.

"This process was carried out without any protest from the individuals involved," the spokesman stressed, speaking for administrators Paul McCann and Michael McAteer.

The only exceptions to the cull are foreign nationals who remain on the boards of some non-Irish subsidiaries.

"These individuals do not have a direct role in the management of the subsidiary companies and remain in place due to legal stipulations surrounding board memberships in foreign countries," the administrators' spokesman said.

The boardroom changes were made to "ensure the interests" of Quinn Insurance were "fully protected" in the subsidiaries' operations, but the new structure will also simplify sales of the companies.

The administrators think it is "unlikely" that the subsidiaries will be sold to the insurance company's ultimate buyer, since the 25 companies include diverse assets such as hotels, a Derrylin wind farm and property companies.

Some 11 of the companies are non-trading, seven are holding companies and seven are trading companies. Potential purchasers will, nonetheless, be given the opportunity to buy "part or all" of the batch of assets as part of the Quinn Insurance Limited (QIL) sale.

QIL's buyer may then choose to sell on the non-core assets. If they opt not to buy the subsidiaries, the administrators could sell them off and put the cash towards any shortfall left after the insurer is sold.

The QIL sale process has been shrouded in secrecy, with would-be buyers asked to sign confidentiality agreements.

An 'information memorandum' is expected to be sent to interested parties this week. These are understood to include US group Liberty Mutual, FBD, Aviva, RSA and Anglo Irish Bank.

Irish Independent

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