Sunday 4 December 2016

Quinns remove Anglo's interest in $180m property

FINANCE

Laura Noonan and Ray Managh

Published 03/09/2011 | 05:00

THE Quinn family has removed Anglo Irish Bank's ownership interest in the most valuable asset in a €500m international property empire, documents lodged in a Dublin court alleged yesterday.

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The alleged changes to the ultimate ownership of the $180m (€127m) Kustoff Tower in Moscow were described as part of a sinister attempt to conspire to put assets beyond the nationalised bank's reach.

The accusations come two months after Anglo first alleged that the Quinns were unlawfully interfering with the international property group to prevent the bank from collecting on a €2.8bn debt.

Anglo seized control of the international property empire in April, and later obtained an interim injunction preventing the Quinns from interfering with the companies or reducing their value.

At the time, Anglo claimed a member of the Quinn family had gotten a 0.054pc stake in Finansstroy, the Russian company that owns the Kustoff Tower, when a company that Anglo has a charge against (Carcer) should have owned 100pc of Finansstroy.

The bank yesterday told the court that new evidence about the international property empire was coming forward on an "almost daily basis" showing that the Quinns were continuing to interfere with assets.

This evidence included the fact that Finansstroy owns the other 99.94pc of its own shares, so that Peter Darragh Quinn is now the only person who has voting rights and Carcer has no stake.

This effectively means the bank has no ownership claim on FinansStroy, though it still has a mortgage against the Kustoff Tower, which brings in annual rents of $20m.

In an affidavit, the Anglo executive dealing with the Quinns, Richard Woodhouse, said the family's "lack of candour" over the actions the family is taking "demonstrates the defendants' attitude and the covert nature of the scheme they are pursuing".

Price

The Quinns have previously insisted that they have not acted unlawfully, claiming that the loans Anglo is enforcing were granted for the illegal purposes of supporting the bank's own share price and therefore have no legal basis.

The family has also claimed that specific instances alleged by Anglo did not take place, and have said they were entitled to carry out certain actions. Their spokesman could not be reached for comment last night.

Meanwhile, another judge yesterday granted Anglo injunctions restraining Cork solicitor Declan Guilfoyle from moving to liquidate the state-owned bank for allegedly failing to pay his bill.

Irish Independent

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