How Seán Quinn’s empire was divided up
During the Celtic Tiger the Quinn Group spanned a huge range of sectors and areas
File photograph from October 2008 of the offices of Quinn Insurance in Blanchardstown, Dublin. File photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire
During the Celtic Tiger, Seán Quinn oversaw from his Derrylin base a commercial empire that spanned a huge range of sectors and geographies. At its height, the Quinn Group – driven by its hugely profitable insurance and financial services business – had interests in manufacturing, heating, plastics, packaging, and even in power generation, with two large wind farms.
Seán Quinn had massive exposure to Anglo Irish Bank through complex financial instruments called contracts for difference, the net effect of which left him massively indebted to the bank when its share price collapsed.
In 2011, the Quinn family’s holding in the Quinn Group passed to a receiver. Bit by bit, parts of the Quinn empire were hived off. Quinn Insurance was sold to Liberty Mutual. A 54 megawatt wind farm was sold to French investor Platina Partners for £100 million. The Quinn glass business was sold to Spanish group Vidrala for more than €400 million. A hotel in Cambridge formerly owned by Quinn Insurance was sold for £38 million.
In 2013, the former Quinn Group was renamed Aventus and the following year, a group of US investment firms completed the purchase of some of the remaining assets of Quinn/Aventus. The three US investors were Contrarian, Silver Point and Brigade. A group of former Quinn executives were to control some of the new joint company, as well as run business on the ground. The plan rested heavily on the participation of former managers and executives in the Quinn Group whose on-the-ground knowledge would be key to its success. Kevin Lunney, the victim of this week’s attack, was among that group. The entity was called Quinn Industrial Holdings Limited (QIHL).
Initially, Seán Quinn snr and his son had consultancy positions with QIHL, with the Quinns paid considerable fees. However, as time progressed, that relationship soured. In 2016, the board and Seán Quinn mutually agreed to terminate the consultancy agreement.