Quinn administrators won't reveal final bidders
THE administrators of Quinn Insurance have no plans to publish a shortlist of bidders for the embattled insurer, insisting such disclosure could "adversely affect the progress of the sale".
The news comes after weekend reports that the field of potential buyers has been narrowed down from more than 40 to five, including Anglo Irish Bank, Travelers Insurance and Liberty Global.
The Irish Independent understands that the chosen five are still awaiting confirmation of management meetings and further documentation on Quinn Insurance Limited (QIL).
It is unclear at what stage the unsuccessful bidders, including Aviva, FBD and RSA, were told that they had fallen out of the process, while the identity of the other two shortlisted bidders is unknown.
A spokesman for QIL's administrators last night said there were no plans to release a list of the bidders proceeding to the next round, despite the massive public interest surrounding the process.
A shortlist of bidders for state-owned EBS will be revealed later in the week, but QIL's administrators feel issuing a similar list for the insurer "may adversely affect the progress of the sale".
The bidders known to have made the shortlist are Anglo, Travelers and Liberty Global, with German-owned Allianz and Swiss player Zurich among those who may also feature.
It is understood that Anglo made it to the shortlist on the basis of a solo proposal but is "keeping its options open" so it could team up with an industry player as part of its bid.
Travelers is believed to be keen to beef up its Irish presence after the recent sale of 123.ie, which Travelers had been underwriting and which is now being underwritten by RSA.
US giant Liberty Global, meanwhile, has confirmed its interest in QIL and is known to have met with the Financial Regulator several months ago.
While sources welcomed the emergence of the shortlist, some expressed frustration with the protracted timeframe for dealing with QIL.
"We still haven't even got any management meetings lined up," said one. "We're waiting for Macquarie [who's handling the sale process] to come back to us."