Slow pace of Quinn sale concerns bidders over firm's value
Published 14/08/2010 | 05:00
THE sale process for Quinn Insurance has slipped weeks behind schedule, despite bidders' calls for a speedy sale to maximise value of the embattled insurer.
The Irish Independent understands that Quinn's potential buyers were expecting to receive full sales prospectuses towards the end of July, following a seven-page teaser document earlier in the summer.
Well-placed sources last night confirmed that full document -- known as an information memorandum -- had still not arrived, leaving the sales process effectively paralysed.
The news comes more than two months after Liberty Mutual, the giant US insurer interested in buying Quinn, stressed the need to resolve Quinn's ownership quickly.
"The longer a company stays in administration, the more damaged the goods become," it stated in late May.
"We are concerned that if the administration process is sufficiently protracted that what is there at the end is going to be attractive to nobody."
Quinn has now been in administration for almost five months, with would-be buyers believed to include FBD, Aviva, Anglo Irish Bank and Allianz still lacking the data they need to make a bid.
A spokeswoman for the administrators last night said the sale process was being "handled in its entirety" by investment bank Macquarie.
"The timing of the release of the informational memorandum to interested parties is at Macquarie's discretion," she added.
Asked if the administrators Paul McCann and Michael McAteer had no power to push for a speedier process, the spokeswoman said the duo were "happy with the pace at which the process is progressing".
Anglo had been expected to present plans for its Quinn takeover in mid-August, but that timeline has now been pushed out by the delayed sales prospectus. The bank said it wanted to take over Quinn to have the best chance of recouping a €2.8bn debt owed by the Quinn Group.