Quinn Insurance can retain Macquarie services


THE HIGH Court has granted Quinn Insurance and its administrators permission to retain the services of merchant bankers Macquarie Capital Europe Ltd, part of the Australian based Macquarie group, to advise them on any prospective sale of the group.

High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns also yesterday approved payment of the costs incurred to date by joint administrators Michael McAteer and Paul McCann of Grant Thornton.

The judge also allowed public relations costs incurred to date by the administrators after independent professionals indicated in affidavits to the court that such costs were “fair and reasonable.”

Earlier, Bernard Dunleavy, for the administrators, said tenders to advise Quinn Insurance in relation to any sale of all or part of the group had been received from three merchant banking firms.

The administrators and Quinn Insurance required the permission of the court to retain Macquarie’s services.

Mr Dunleavy said Macquarie Capital’s proposal was deemed the most favourable although the terms of a final agreement had yet to be finalised.

While the administrators wished to be transparent and to place in the public domain the level of fees that may be paid to Macquarie, they believed “as a matter of commercial sensitivity”, the level of remuneration should not be revealed “in advance of any successful outcome” for the group.

The administrators secured approval of the costs of some €565,000 for their work between March 30th and April 30th last and liberty to invoice the company monthly up to the end of July for sums not exceeding €1.8 million.

The court also permitted them pay their solicitors, MacCann Fitzgerald, €120,000 for work between March 30th and April 30th and further legal costs incurred since then. They may also pay Hume Brophy PR Consultants some €50,000 for work carried out between March 30th and April 30th, plus €10,000 a month for work since.

Mr Justice Kearns said he did not see the need for ongoing PR services from now but the administrators could apply in that regard.

He had previously requested independent material in order to assess the reasonableness of the level of costs sought.