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Sunday 26 January 2020

Bank to pay Russian firm €50m in bid to recover foreign assets

Tim Healy

THE former Anglo Irish Bank has revealed that it will spend more than €50m in an effort to seize control of foreign properties owned by the Quinn family.

The bank has agreed to pay an initial fee of €31m to an assets recovery company based in Russia and Ukraine. The firm, called A1, will receive further substantial payments of tens of millions if it succeeds in recovering assets worth an estimated US$315m (€245m). Details of the deal emerged in the High Court yesterday.

In a separate case to Sean Quinn's contempt proceedings, the IBRC (formerly Anglo) told the court that the joint venture arrangement between the bank and the assets recovery specialists is urgent and necessary if there is to be any hope of recovering any assets from the Quinn family's international property portfolio.

Urgent

The Quinn family's international property group was once valued at €500m. The arrangement with the Russian and Ukraine firm required approval from Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

Counsel for the state-owned lender Paul Gallagher said the deal is intended to be finalised within days as the situation was urgent if any assets are to be recovered.

Mr Gallagher said the bank was entering into the arrangement because it found itself in an "impossible position" in seeking to recover assets.

Each time the bank secured some successes in countries such as Russia and Ukraine, the family has moved to reverse those, he said.

Niall McPartland, a son-in-law of Sean Quinn, said the family had no control over the assets and the bank continues to reject their efforts to assist in recovering them.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly noted IBRC had secured the approval of the Finance Minister to enter into the arrangement with A1.

The court had no role to play in this commercial arrangement but the bank was quite properly updating the court about it, the judge added.

Irish Independent

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