Tuesday 12 November 2019

Bacon advises NTMA on wider effects of Quinn sale to Anglo

Laura Noonan

RENOWNED economist Peter Bacon has presented the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) with a review of the wider implications of Anglo Irish Bank's plan to buy embattled Quinn Insurance.

The news comes a fortnight after the insurer's administrators admitted the sale process for Quinn Insurance Limited (QIL) was on hold pending the appointment of a new government.

Sources yesterday confirmed that Mr Bacon, who authored a famed report on the hotels sector and recommended the establishment of NTMA, was recently drafted in to provide advice on the Quinn deal.

The exact scope of his mandate is unclear, but it is believed that he was asked to assess the likely impact on jobs and on the local area of Anglo's joint bid for the insurer with US insurance giant, Liberty.


Mr Bacon yesterday said he "couldn't comment on that", while a spokesman for NTMA declined to be drawn on the specifics of Mr Bacon's involvement in the QIL deal.

Mr Bacon is understood to be one of a number of experts consulted by the NTMA in relation to QIL, which employs 1,600 people directly and supports the employment of thousands more in the Quinn Group.

Local lobby groups, including Cavan Chamber of Commerce, a political delegation and a group of businesses that deal with Quinn Group companies have been insisting that the sales process take account of the overall impact on the Quinn Group and local employment.

Many of them favour an alternative solution put forward by the family of QIL founder Sean Quinn, who want to advance a joint deal with Anglo.

The Quinns say their joint deal would lead to maximum job protection both in QIL and in the wider Quinn Group, but Anglo is believed to have rejected recent approaches.

While QIL's administrators have the ultimate say on any sale, the new Minister for Finance could encourage state- owned Anglo to resubmit a bid with the Quinn family.

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