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Expert hired to guide Anglo restructuring plan through Brussels

High-powered EU competition expert Cristina Caffarra is understood to have been drafted in by the Government to help navigate its restructuring plan for Anglo Irish Banks through Brussels.

Dr Caffarra, head of consultants Charles River Associates' European competition practice, previously advised Aer Lingus on its dealings with Brussels when the carrier sought to fend off a takeover bid from Ryanair.

The European Commission ruled in 2007 that Ryanair could not take over the flag carrier, finding such a deal to be anti-competitive.

Dr Caffara was also heavily involved in an abortive attempt to overturn the Commission's controversial rejection in 2001 of General Electric's planned $42bn (€29.7bn) acquisition of Honeywell International -- the first time a proposed merger between two US companies was blocked solely by European regulators.


She is among a coterie of advisers -- including consultants KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and investment bank NM Rothschild -- helping the Government and Anglo through the restructuring process of the nationalised bank.

Anglo filed a restructuring plan with Brussels in November, on foot of its €4bn bailout last summer. It is understood the bank is working through scores of questions that the Commission sent back on the plan.

The Irish Independent reported last week that advisers on the plan estimated the bank would need between €4bn and €6bn of additional capital under a plan to split the group into a 'good bank' and 'bad bank', after NAMA takes over €28bn of its property loans.

Irish Independent