Business Irish

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Quinns may have to lodge court bond of €500,000

FINANCE

Laura Noonan and Aoife Finneran

THE Quinn family could be forced to place a €500,000 bond with the High Court to cover the potential cost of a legal row with Anglo Irish Bank, it emerged last night.

The news came after the bank petitioned the High Court to get the Quinns to put up money to cover the "mammoth" cost of discovery in the complex legal battle.

The Irish Independent understands that Anglo is likely to ask for €500,000 to be put up to cover the costs of providing hundreds of thousands of documents requested by the family.

The Quinns and the bank have been in discussions about the extensiveness of the family's discovery request for weeks after Anglo baulked at the broadness of some requests.

The wife and children of businessman Sean Quinn are trying to convince the courts that they have no liability for loans of €2.34bn granted by Anglo to their companies.

They claim that the loans are invalid because they were granted for the illegal purpose of propping up Anglo's own share price by financing Sean Quinn's investment in the bank.

To prove their case, they have requested extensive documentation from Anglo, including hard drives of computers of former bank bosses and other records.

Anglo argues that compiling the information will generate extensive costs for the bank; it is now arguing that the Quinns should have to put up money against those costs.

The Quinns have already put up a €500,000 bond for a case against Anglo in Cyprus, and the Irish Independent understands a similar bond is likely to be requested for the Irish action.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly will rule on the security request on November 30, when he will also deal with a number of other motions relating to the complex case.

Complexity

The Irish Independent understands that the case is now unlikely to be heard in January, as initially hoped, given the extensive nature of the discovery and the complexity of the issues at hand.

A separate court action in Cyprus, which centres on a battle for control of the Quinns' €500m international property empire, will return before the courts later this month.

News of the legal wrangles comes days after lenders to the Quinn Group agreed to a new package that will see the 'core' businesses left with just €475m of debt, while more than €800m will go to a 'non-core' unit.

More than 75pc of bondholders voted to accept the deal at a London meeting on Monday, clearing the way for the ownership of the Quinn Group to transfer to Anglo (75pc) and bondholders (25pc).

The Quinns made no comment last night.

Irish Independent

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