Monday 18 December 2017

Noonan bids to nationalise IL&P after shareholders reject bailout

Laura Noonan

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan is to apply for a court order to nationalise Irish Life & Permanent after the plc's shareholders yesterday refused to accept a €4bn bailout.

The prospect has triggered a furious response from shareholders, with a group representing about 300 investors last night claiming it had already lined up an Irish legal firm to fight the expected court order.

The legal manoeuvres follow a heated meeting of IL&P shareholders yesterday morning, where about 60pc of investors voted down proposals to sell off Irish Life Assurance and accept €4bn in public money.

Shareholders instructed chairman Alan Cook to push the Government for a better deal than the one on the table, which would see the State take a 99.9pc share in IL&P.

The board of IL&P last night wrote to Mr Noonan to request a meeting, but the minister poured cold waters on the chances of changing the terms.

Asked about the impact of the shareholders' vote against the bailout, Mr Noonan yesterday said there were "options that would allow the Government to go ahead following a legal route".

The comments were interpreted as a reference to the Credit Institutions Stabilisation Act, which empowers the

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