Quinn Insurance sale completed

Mon, Nov 14, 2011, 00:00

The sale of Quinn Insurance to Liberty Mutual Group has been completed.

Staff who previously worked for Quinn Insurance today transferred to Liberty Mutual's new Irish company and they will continue to operate from offices in Dublin, Enniskillen and Cavan.

The business is to be rebranded as Liberty Insurance from next year.

Quinn’s Republic of Ireland policies have been transferred to the new company, which will also service Quinn’s UK business.

“We are pleased with this acquisition as it enables us to enter the Irish market as the economy begins to recover,” David H Long, Liberty Mutual Group president and chief executive, said.

Liberty Mutual Group - which acquired Quinn Insurance in a joint venture with Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank - now owns 51 per cent of the business with IBRC, which will not have a role in the day to day running of the company, owning the remaining 49 per cent.

Liberty Ireland is to be chaired by Edmund F Kelly, chairman of the Boston-based insurer, and led by Patrick O'Brien. Mr O’Brien has previously worked as an executive for Liberty Mutual in Dublin and London.

The sale of Quinn Insurance to the joint Liberty/IBRC venture was last month approved by the president of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns. The joint administrators of the Quinn Group had told the court the alternative to the proposed sale was liquidation, with a deficit of some €1.3 billion and 1,600 job losses.

Quinn Irish insurance customers have been notified that their existing premiums and levels of insurance will not be affected and that contact details regarding their insurance remain the same.

IBRC said it was pleased that all negotiations and necessary regulatory approvals have been successfully concluded.

“I am pleased that this closing marks the successful conclusion of a long and at times difficult process,” IBRC chief executive Mike Aynsley said.

“This will ultimately create long term economic value which will facilitate the recovery of debt - an integral part of the Bank’s broader strategy to maximize returns for the Irish taxpayer.”

The former owner of Quinn Insurance, Seán Quinn, was declared bankrupt at Belfast High Court and his worldwide assets are now under the control of the Official Receiver in Northern Ireland.

Solicitors for Mr Quinn, at one time thought to be Ireland’s richest businessman with personal wealth of more than €4 billion, told the court that he had assets of less than £50,000, no income, no property and a pension that would pay less than £10,000 when drawn down.

Mr Quinn and his family owe the State, by way of Anglo Irish Bank loans, up to €2.9 billion, according to the IBRC. Mr Quinn told the court that something more than €2 billion of this was in dispute and was the subject of proceedings in Dublin.