Quinn Group and insurance arm sales to go through 'within days'
THE imminent sales of Quinn Insurance and the Quinn Group passed their final hurdles last night after a crunch vote of lenders cleared the way for both deals to go through within days.
The lenders have signed up to a deal that will see an extra €250m of their loans switch from the Quinn Group to a 'non-core entity', where they have a slimmer chance of being repaid.
The deal was hammered out a fortnight ago, after "challenging" trading at the Quinn Group meant the conglomerate couldn't handle the terms of an earlier deal agreed in mid-April.
Despite having agreement 'in principle' from bondholders' representatives, sources close to the process said yesterday's vote could go "down to the wire" since some lenders appeared resistant.
The vote was carried by bondholders with more than 75pc of the loans, clearing the way for the Quinn Group's ownership to transfer to Anglo Irish Bank (75pc) and lenders (25pc) imminently.
The agreement also means that this weekend's sale of Quinn Insurance Limited to Anglo Irish Bank and Liberty Mutual can go ahead, since yesterday's deal also includes bondholders agreeing to lift guarantees they held against Quinn Insurance assets.
"This decision is a landmark for the Quinn Group," chief executive Paul O'Brien said last night, adding that it "provides the group with the funding and stability for the future and put the last 18 months behind it".
The Quinn Group's debt will now be €500m -- down from the €1.3bn when Anglo Irish Bank seized control of the conglomerate from the Quinn family in April.
Mr O'Brien stressed that the group "remains profitable" at operating level.
The terms of the new bondholder deal means Anglo has had to cede some of the 'vetoes' tied into the original April agreement, including an absolute veto on the sale of businesses. Anglo retains a veto over the sale of more than 25pc of the two core Irish businesses -- glass and cement.