Quinns seeks to prevent sale of assets held by former Anglo
Court told Irish Bank Resolution Corp ‘not entitled’ to transfer multi-million portfolio to Nama
Anglo Irish Bank signage being removed from the former bank premises at St Stephen’s Green Dublin in April 2011. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times
The family of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn have asked the Commercial Court to stop multi-million assets in the Quinn group being sold off or moved into the National Asset Management Agency by the end of this year.
The Quinns claim they are the rightful owners of the assets and the special liquidator of State-owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly
Anglo Irish Bank, is not entitled to transfer them to Nama or sell them by December 31st next as required by a direction of the Minister for Finance.
The Quinns are concerned, should they ultimately win their main action alleging they are not liable for some €2.34 billion allegedly unlawful loans made by Anglo to Quinns companies between 2007 and 2008, there will be no money or assets to meet their claim for damages, their counsel Martin Hayden SC said.
This application was prompted by the enactment of the IBRC Act earlier this year providing for the liquidation of IBRC and allowing the State “expropriate a citizen’s assets” and sell them with “a clean bill of health” to a purchaser or Nama.
This was all occurring in circumstances where the Quinns are not subject of criminal proceedings arising from the misconduct of
Anglo, he added. His side had also not received information from IBRC special liquidator Kieran Wallace as to the precise assets under IBRFC’s control.
This application was intended to “ring-fence” Quinn companies’ assets pending the outcome of the family’s main action, he said.
The assets included a hotel in Prague recently sold for €11.5 million and those monies, and proceeds of any other sales, must all be “ring-fenced”. In opposing the application, Mr Wallace contends the Quinns have no claim to the assets taken over by IBRC.
He also argues the Quinn companies were insolvent when the bank them over in April 2011 and contends various banks and bondholders would not have agreed to those loans being restructured.
The hearing of the injunction application opened today.
Aoife Quinn, her husband Stephen Kelly and brother Sean jnr are all in court. Mr Hayden also indicated today, should the orders be refused, his side would consider a constitutional challenge to the provisions of the IBRC Act allowing for the Quinn assets to be sold.