Staff to suffer if Quinn fights -- Anglo
Businessman is yet to make contact with bank
THE Quinn Group and its workers will be the ones to suffer if Sean Quinn decides to pursue legal action against Anglo Irish Bank over its decision last Thursday to remove him from the business and appoint a receiver, the bank's Chief Executive believes.
Asked by the Sunday Independent what his view would be if Mr Quinn sought to overturn the bank's decision, Anglo CEO Mike Aynsley said: "That would not be productive to the interests of the businesses Sean Quinn spent so many years building up or for the people employed there."
While Mr Aynsley declined to comment further on Mr Quinn personally and what his intentions might be, it is understood that by close of business last Friday evening, Anglo had not received any correspondence from the Fermanagh-born businessman or any third party representing him.
Reports carried in that day's newspapers said that Mr Quinn had gone into consultations with his lawyers at the Dublin firm, Eversheds O'Donnell Sweeney, almost immediately after leaving his early-morning meeting at Anglo HQ, in which he was informed of the bank's decision.
Asked last night if Mr Quinn intended to take legal action, a spokesman for the former billionaire said this had yet to be decided.
How successful Anglo will be in its efforts to recover the €2.88bn Mr Quinn and his family owe it, meanwhile, remains as the other altogether more significant question for the Irish taxpayer.
Asked what the bank's prospects are in this regard, Mr Aynsley said that with €600m of this sum accounted for by the Quinn property group investments and seen as being recoverable over time, the bank was currently making a loss provision in its books for €2.2bn of the Quinn debt.
Mr Aynsley stressed however, that the €2.2bn was merely being written down, as opposed to written off, meaning Anglo is of the view that it will recover an as yet undetermined portion of the debt in the future.
While it is highly unlikely that all of the €2.2bn will be written back on to Anglo's books, Mr Aynsley expressed confidence that the bank's likely joint takeover with US insurance giant Liberty Mutual of Quinn Insurance, and its investment in the Quinn Group's other businesses, will play a significant role in helping to recover the money lent to the Quinn family.
"The businesses still exist. The Quinns have just been removed from them. The value of our [Anglo's] investment in the Quinn business will rise over time and this will be used to pay down the €2.2bn to the fullest extent. As much as possible [of the debt] will be written back and paid off, while the remainder will be written off," Mr Aynsley said.
Recognising concerns that the Quinn family debt was adding yet again to the massive burden Anglo was imposing on the taxpayer, Mr Aynsley stressed that the €2.2bn had already been included as part of the €29bn the bank had received from the taxpayer to date.