Business Irish

Friday 23 March 2018

Quinn rejects black hole claims

Quinn Group workers said they were confident the insurance wing would reopen
Quinn Group workers said they were confident the insurance wing would reopen

The Quinn Group has rejected claims it was facing a €700m black hole and insisted its insurance wing needed only up to €150m to get back on a sure footing.

Amid reports of a potential takeover of Quinn Insurance Limited (QIL) by Ireland's nationalised Anglo-Irish Bank, the multi-national dismissed claims it bent the rules to suit its own interests.

The company is due before the High Court in Dublin on Monday to fight administration after the Financial Regulator dramatically moved to wrest control last week.

Liam McCaffrey, Quinn Group chief executive, said lifting administration was in everybody's interest and that, if given the time, the solvency issues at QIL would be resolved by the end of the year.

"We will work very hard with anybody, Anglo-Irish Bank or anybody else, to make sure that the future of Quinn Insurance is robust and protected," he said.

Anglo, which will ultimately be refinanced by the Irish taxpayer to the tune of €22b, is owed €2.8bn by the Quinn family after a complex share deal turned sour.

Quinn adamantly rejected claims the insurance division needed a €700m cash injection and insisted there was no basis for it. "This is simply not the case," the company said.

It said access to money should not be an issue, with Quinn Insurance holding €800m cash and the Quinn Group holding €70m in reserve while the Group generated cash profits of about €47m in the first three months of this year.

"Our manufacturing businesses continue to perform strongly but the knock-on impact of the QIL provisional administration continuing will impact on the group's ability to invest and expand in the future," Quinn said.

Mr McCaffrey rejected claims the insurance group had bent the rules when reporting solvency levels to the regulator. "To say it is playing fast and loose I think is a little unfair, suffice to say we know that we are below the minimum solvency, we know that a plan was submitted to the regulator to have that restored by the year end, and that was being worked through," he told RTE.

Press Association

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