Business Irish

Tuesday 20 February 2018

D-Day set after agreement clears way for Quinn deal


Laura Noonan

FINAL plans are being laid for the sale of Quinn Insurance and the Quinn Group after a breakthrough with bondholders at the weekend cleared the way for the deal to go through.

Sources last night confirmed that Friday, November 4, was earmarked as D-day, a timeline that would allow the insurer to re-open the following Monday as Liberty Direct.

A formal meeting of bondholders to ratify the weekend's agreement will be held that Monday, on October 31, though sources are hopeful of getting written indications of agreement before then.

The deal will see bondholders shift about €300m of their debt from the 'core' Quinn Group into a 'non-core' unit where their chances of repayment are slimmer.

In exchange, Anglo has agreed to cede its absolute veto over the sale of some Quinn Group assets while retaining a veto over the sale of more than 25pc of the group's "major" Irish businesses -- cement and glass.

Sources said the structure of the remaining vetoes, coupled with the state of the market, meant that while "imminent" sales were possible, they were "unlikely" to occur.


Any buyer would also have to agree not to lay off more than 10pc of staff.

Day-to-day running of the group will not be affected by the November 4 changeover, since a new chief executive was installed when Anglo first appointed its share receiver in mid April.

Further senior appointments are expected to be made before the new year to beef up an existing management team led by former UTV executive Paul O'Brien.

New Quinn Group directors including "industry heavyweights" and an Anglo representative are expected to be appointed imminently.

Over at Quinn Insurance, the November sale is expected to see the insurance company rebranded as "Liberty Direct" and run by managers from within the "Liberty family".

The new company will have full responsibility for the insurer's Irish business and will also handle claims for the international insurance arm which will remain in administration.

A new chief executive of "Quinn Insurance, under administration" will be appointed to oversee the claims handling and will be based at the insurer's head offices in Cavan and Dublin. It is understood that the new chief executive is an experienced industry professional who has not previously worked for Quinn Insurance.

Irish Independent

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