Russian buildings lie at heart of Anglo claim against Quinn family
Published 29/06/2011 | 05:00
A MOSCOW office complex opened by a government minister two years ago is at the heart of today's legal clash between Anglo Irish Bank and the Quinn family.
The nationalised bank will today ask the High Court to prevent the Quinn family from making any changes to the ownership of the renowned Kutuzoff Business Centre and a number of other Russian assets.
The move comes two days after Anglo got a temporary injunction to prevent the Quinns moving any assets out of its international property vehicle, of which Anglo recently seized control.
The bank had told the court it believed the Quinns were trying to frustrate Anglo's efforts to recoup the family's €2.9bn debts by changing the ownership structure of key international assets.
Today the bank will outline its case in full in a bid to convince the High Court to make the injunction permanent and to undo any efforts that have already been made to alter the ownership of individual assets.
The bank believes the Quinn family has been making preparations to transfer the ownership of key assets to a new corporate entity, dubbed 'The Cranaghan Foundation', to benefit the grandchildren of Quinn Group founder Sean Quinn.
Anglo's concerns about the Cranaghan Foundation arose last week, after the bank spent months trawling through official documents in Sweden where the Quinn international property vehicle is headquartered.
A spokesman for the Quinn family declined to comment on any aspect of Anglo's case.
It is believed the Quinns may use today's hearing to push the courts to give them more time to defend Anglo's claims, which were only fully outlined to the Quinns legal team yesterday.
The Irish Independent understands Anglo will cite Moscow's Kutuzoff Business Centre as a key example of a situation where it believes the courts need to intervene to protect Anglo's claim on the Quinns' assets.
The other assets Anglo has concerns about are understood to be predominantly Russian, though any injunction would also extend to some properties in Turkey, the Ukraine and India.
Anglo does not believe any asset transfers have been completed -- but the processes begun could ultimately affect the ownership of assets worth tens of millions of euro.
Quinn Investments Sweden, the main holding company affected by today's case, has assets worth about €500m and debts of about €500m.
The international property clash marks just one front in a massive legal battle between the Quinns and Anglo.
The Quinns are challenging the legality of Anglo's swoop on the Quinn Group and may also mount a separate challenge against the bank's successful bid for Quinn Insurance Limited.