Sunday 17 December 2017

Anglo trial: Quinn ‘made €300m profit’ at one point

Former billionaire continued to build stake after €560m loss

Former billionaire Sean Quinn
Former billionaire Sean Quinn
Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

FORMER tycoon Sean Quinn continued to build up his secret stake in Anglo Irish Bank after losing €560m on investments.

The trial of three Anglo executives heard that at one stage the bankrupt businessman had made almost €300m in profit through a Madeiran-registrered company, Bazzely Ltd, set up in 2005 to invest in contracts for difference.

Shane Morrison, former head of financial planning with Quinn Insurance, said Mr Quinn was in touch several times a week about where he wanted to invest.

Quinn’s investment portfolio included a stake in Anglo Irish Bank, as well as oil firm Total, Tullow Oil, Ryanair and Deutch Bank, he said.

By the end of 2005, Mr Quinn held a position of €256m and made a €27m profit, which rose to a €298m profit by the end of 2006, the court heard.

Mr Morrison agreed with prosecuting counsel Paul Anthony McDermot BL that the figure had fallen to a €560m loss within 12 months.

“The gains had reversed,” said Mr Morrison, adding that several margins calls made to be met as share prices dropped.

Mr Morrison was asked who directed that the stake in Anglo be increased in February and March 2008 when steps were being taken to unwind Quinn’s shares.

“Sean Quinn senior,” replied Mr Morrison,

Former chairman Sean FitzPatrick (65), from Greystones, Co Wicklow; former head of risk William McAteer (63), of Rathgar in Dublin; and Patrick Whelan (51), of Malahide, Co Dublin have pleaded not guilty to 16 charges of unlawfully providing financial assistance to individuals for the purpose of buying shares in Anglo Irish Bank in 2008

Mr Whelan, Anglo’s former head of lending in Ireland, has also denied seven charges of being privy to the fraudulent alteration of a loan facility letter.

The three are accused of lending six members of Sean Quinn’s family and ten customers - who became known as a Maple 10 – up to €650m to buy Quinn's near 30pc stake built up through contracts for difference.

The trial continues.

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