Thursday 19 October 2017

Management buy-out to herald Quinn Healthcare makeover

Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

QUINN Healthcare is to undergo a brand makeover following the management buy-out that has secured the future of the country's second largest health insurer.

A team of Quinn Health managers has bought the firm from the Quinn Group, with the backing of a Swiss re-insurer, in a deal worth a reported €619m.

In a statement this weekend, the new owners said that the deal will secure the future of the firm's 334 jobs in Cork and will ensure competition in the market. Quinn Healthcare has 500,000 members.

The terms of the sale and the identity of the management team were not disclosed.

Managing director Donal Clancy said that a "natural transition" to a new brand will take place over the coming months, but there will be no changes to the terms of their cover.

Sean Quinn set up the firm in 2007, taking over from British insurer Bupa.

The business tycoon lost control of his empire when Anglo Irish Bank moved to recover €2.8bn in loans from Quinn and his family. The bank is currently challenging his bankruptcy in the North.

Quinn Insurance was placed into administration by the Financial Regulator last year.

The insurer is raising its prices by around 12 per cent from January 1, blaming increases in the health insurance levy. The Irish management team won the deal with the backing of Swiss Re, a reinsurance giant.

A subsidiary of Swiss Re, Elips Life, was appointed as the company's underwriter.

Mr Clancy said: "This is great news for our members and the Quinn Healthcare team alike.

"Since the company was acquired from Bupa in 2007, it has operated as a largely independent entity.

"This independence will be further confirmed by the sale to members of the management team, which will also be accompanied by the appointment of Elips Life (a wholly owned subsidiary of Swiss Re) as the underwriter."

He said most of the management team were involved.

"With the combined experience of our team and the underwriter Elips Life, part of the highly capitalised global reinsurer Swiss Re, we are very well positioned to drive further competition in the market and bring increased innovation and value."

Quinn Healthcare remained part of the Quinn Group until the sale was announced this weekend.

Quinn Insurance, which was placed into administration last year, was taken over by Liberty Mutual and Anglo Irish Bank.

Quinn Healthcare was worth some €130m at the time of the deal with Bupa in 2007, but the value of the company is believed to have dropped since then.

A statement from Quinn Group said the sale was in line with its strategy of refocusing on the core manufacturing business.

Quinn Group chief executive Paul O'Brien said: "The disposal of Quinn-Healthcare represents another milestone for the group which concludes a complex negotiation and places an end to the uncertainty for the healthcare business."

Sunday Independent

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