Monday 19 February 2018

Battle between Quinn family and Anglo to reach climax

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

FINANCE

ANGLO Irish Bank's battle with the Quinn family will reach a critical point next week as a Belfast court rules on Sean Quinn's bankruptcy bid and a Cypriot judge delivers a long-awaited verdict in a €500m international property row.

The bank will also consider further actions to force disclosure of the owners of a Belize company that's claiming a $100m debt against the Quinns' property empire, after the firm missed its deadline to comply with a legal order to reveal its owners.

Anglo, recently renamed as Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), has been embroiled in legal actions with Mr Quinn and his family since the bank called in a €2.8bn debt last April and seized the Quinns' assets.

Mr Quinn went on to declare himself bankrupt in Northern Ireland after admitting he was unable to comply with a court order to repay the bank more than €2bn.

The bank is challenging this, claiming that Mr Quinn should face bankruptcy in the Republic.

The Belfast courts heard arguments before Christmas; sources last night confirmed a verdict will be delivered "next week".

Legal options

If the bankruptcy is annulled, IBRC is expected to immediately enact Dublin bankruptcy proceedings against the entrepreneur, while Mr Quinn may consider further legal options in the North.

If the judge upholds Mr Quinn's existing bankruptcy, IBRC would have the option of launching secondary proceedings in Dublin, a move that could force Mr Quinn to endure the 12-year bankruptcy period in the South in parallel to the North's one-year system.

The bank may not do this, however, since it would incur twice the legal costs. IBRC has always said it wants to move Mr Quinn's case to Dublin to reduce legal costs and not because the bank wants to punish the 65-year-old with a lengthy bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, a key verdict on the Quinns' international property empire is now cautiously expected on Wednesday.

The court is considering IBRC's bid for the cessation of an injunction banning the bank from 'interfering with' the property empire.

The injunction was obtained by the Quinns, who argue that IBRC had no right to seize the property companies because the bank was enforcing loans that were 'tainted by illegality' since the funds were advanced to purchase shares in the bank itself.

Irish Independent

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