Anglo lodges 'expression of interest' in Quinn sale
THE ownership of Quinn Insurance is likely to take several months to resolve with administrators aiming to offload the stricken insurer "before Christmas", sources confirmed last night.
The news came as Anglo Irish Bank confirmed it had lodged an "expression of interest" in acquiring the insurer ahead of yesterday's 5.30pm deadline.
If Anglo's Quinn Insurance plan is successful, the bank is expected to reduce the €1.7bn impairment charge already booked on loans advanced to the wider Quinn Group and family.
Several industry players -- including Aviva, FBD, RSA, Allianz and US giant Liberty Global -- are also likely to have made contact with merchant bank Macquarie, which is handling the sale.
Private equity vehicles have also examined Quinn Insurance's sales prospectus, and may have submitted non-binding expressions of interest last night.
Most parties linked with the sale have refused to say if they will pursue bids, citing prohibitive non-disclosure agreements attached to the prospectus.
In contrast, Anglo has openly spoken of its plans to take over Quinn Insurance in a bid to secure repayment of the €2.8bn owed to the nationalised bank by the Quinn Group and Quinn family.
In a statement last night, the bank confirmed the expression of interest had been submitted to Macquarie.
"The bank is undertaking detailed work on a proposal designed to preserve and enhance value in Quinn Insurance and to maximise recovery of debts owed to the bank," Anglo said.
"This is in the best interests of the bank and the taxpayer. Management will continue to liaise with the Financial Regulator and the Department of Finance during the process to keep them apprised of the bank's approach."
Anglo is understood to believe that it has the support of both its regulator and its state shareholder in pursuing its Quinn Insurance takeover. However, the initial submission of interest does not require approval from either.
Macquarie is expected to analyse last night's submissions of interest for about a fortnight, before giving selected parties access to an extensive data room, which they can use to make final bids.
Anglo is believed to taken €1.7bn of impairments on its Quinn-related loans in the six months to the end of June.