Tuesday 21 May 2019

Quinn children each on the hook for €88m after settlement with IBRC

Deal ends all cases involving family and the former Anglo Irish Bank

Agreement: The Quinn children, from left, Aoife, Brenda, Ciara, Colette (partially hidden) and Seán Jr. Photo: Collins Courts
Agreement: The Quinn children, from left, Aoife, Brenda, Ciara, Colette (partially hidden) and Seán Jr. Photo: Collins Courts
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

The five adult children of former tycoon Seán Quinn have consented to judgments totalling €440.7m in favour of the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Each of the children will owe State-owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) more than €80m under a settlement - which brings to an end the long-running and at times bitter dispute between the Quinn family and Anglo's successor. However, the High Court was told a stay will be put on the execution of the judgments "on terms agreed between the parties".

The terms were not disclosed but as part of the deal the Quinns have co-operated with IBRC's efforts to recover and liquidate €455m worth of international property assets which were subject to an alleged asset-stripping scheme as Anglo moved to take over Quinn companies in 2011.

In a statement, IBRC said the Quinn family had provided it with "full disclosure" and would relinquish any entitlement to assets IBRC had a claim over. It said the Quinns acknowledged IBRC's security over the assets was "valid and enforceable". The settlement covers all litigation between the Quinns and IBRC, as well as a separate claim the Quinns had against the Central Bank.

The High Court last month began hearing legal actions taken by the five children, Seán Jr, Ciara, Colette, Aoife and Brenda Quinn, against IBRC and its liquidator over €410m in loan guarantees.

The children claimed on various grounds that loan guarantees and share pledges they gave in connection with €2.34bn in loans from Anglo to Quinn Group companies in 2007 and 2008 were invalid.

Former tycoon: Seán Quinn was once Ireland’s richest man. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Former tycoon: Seán Quinn was once Ireland’s richest man. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

IBRC counter-claimed, seeking to recover €82m from each of the children.

The trial had been expected to last six months, but both sides entered settlement talks just over a week ago after opening submissions had finished. In a separate case, the IBRC was also suing the Quinns over the alleged asset-stripping conspiracy.

Yesterday, Bernard Dunleavy SC, counsel for the Quinn children, told Mr Justice Garrett Simons the outcome of the talks was that "all of the proceedings have been resolved".

He said his clients' proceedings against IBRC could be struck out with no costs order.

Paul Gallagher SC, for IBRC, said as part of the settlement, judgments in the sum of €88,157,351 could be entered against each of the children in favour of the bank, but that a stay would be put on the execution of the judgments.

Mr Justice Simons congratulated both sides on reaching an agreement, saying it was a "very sensible" outcome.

None of the Quinn children was in court for the announcement, which came just days after they suffered a significant setback in the case. Last Wednesday, the judge ruled they could not amend their statement of claim to include an allegation they were under the undue influence of their father when they signed off on loan guarantees and share pledges. A request to file supplementary witness statements was also refused.

The loans the children signed off on were predominantly used to cover losses made by their father during his disastrous speculation on Anglo shares.

The stock market bets would ultimately lead to the downfall of the Quinn Group and Mr Quinn's bankruptcy.

The children were the shareholders in the group and their signatures were required for the loans to go through.

Irish Independent

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