Friday 23 March 2018

Quinn's family deny liability for €2.3bn in Anglo loans

Claim of criminal conduct is 'extraordinary', bank tells court

SEAN Quinn Jnr and his sister Ciara, son and daughter of businessman Sean Quinn, are pictured leaving the Commercial Court
SEAN Quinn Jnr and his sister Ciara, son and daughter of businessman Sean Quinn, are pictured leaving the Commercial Court

Aoife Finneran

THE family of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn are effectively claiming they are not liable for loans of €2.3bn to Anglo Irish Bank because Mr Quinn and the bank were engaged in the "criminal offence" of market manipulation, a court has heard.

Paul Gallagher SC, for Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo), told the Commercial Court that the Quinn family's claim they were not liable for the loans and were entitled to take over "the Quinn empire" again, free of debt, is "extraordinary". He said that to support this claim, the family had had to allege criminal conduct and market manipulation.

The bank has brought an application before the Commercial Court, seeking a preliminary hearing to determine key issues in the family's case. Paul Gallagher SC, for the bank, said this would narrow the issues and save "enormous" costs and court time. He said a full hearing of the case would take up to nine months and cost millions.

Patricia Quinn and her five children -- Ciara, Colette, Brenda, Aoife and Sean Quinn Jnr -- are suing the bank arising from events leading to the family losing control of companies within the Quinn Group.

The family is opposing the application for a preliminary hearing, claiming that it is unlikely to shorten the trial. They also say they want to see certain documents before finalising their claim.

In insisting that they have no liability for €2.34bn loans to various Quinn companies, they claim the loans were issued for the "illegal objective" of supporting the bank's share price and Anglo was not entitled to appoint a receiver over shares in a number of Quinn companies. The bank denies these claims.

IBRC wants the court to rule whether the family has the necessary legal standing to make claims of breaches of the Market Abuse Regulations (MAR) in relation to the funding of Contracts for Difference (CfD) positions in Anglo or breaches of the Companies Act.

Share price

The bank wants the court to decide if any loans or part of loans were made to meet CfD calls in Anglo, whether such loans breached the MAR or Section 60. It denies the family's claim that the €2.3bn loans are unenforceable. It says that even if these loans are unenforceable, additional loans of €500m are unrelated to the Anglo CfD loans and are enforceable and recoverable.

It is also seeking a ruling in relation to the refinancing in October 2008 of loan facilities issued in July 2008 to various Cypriot companies.

Ciara Quinn and Sean Quinn Junior were in court yesterday for the opening of the bank's application, which continues on December 15.

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