Irish entrepreneur Sean Quinn - once said to be Ireland’s richest man - has released a statement speaking of his upset at the decision by Anglo Irish Bank to strip him of control of the Quinn Group last week – saying that, given time, he would have been able to save the business which includes the Quinn Cement operations. Now assets owned by Quinn and his family have been passed over to a receiver by the now government-controlled Anglo Irish bank.
Sean Quinn was unable to repay €2.8bn of loans he undertook so that he could invest in the now nationalised Anglo Irish Bank. Anglo has announced that Kieran Wallace of KPMG is acting as receiver for the Quinn family’s assets and that a five-year restructuring plan had been put in place to stabilise the Group’s businesses. The Irish Finance Minister today assured employees of the Group that all 2600 manufacturing jobs – 1000 of which are in the Republic of Ireland – would be saved. The new deal may see US insurance group Liberty Mutual join Anglo in taking over the insurance arm of Quinn.
Quinn admitted that he had made mistakes but said that these should not result in “a life sentence”. He said that bad advice had also contributed to the company’s problems: “Our mistake was to place an over-reliance on the Irish banking system and the many predictions for continued sustained growth in the Irish economy from some of the country’s leading financial services experts.” He said that he had put together a business plan over the past year, which would have allowed the business to pay back it debts and “discharge fully all the family’s obligations to the Irish taxpayer”. Some €3 billion of the company’s debts are owed to the taxpayer. “I am utterly convinced that our proposal could achieve the retention and increase of skilled employment in the group,” he said.