Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Court rejects Quinn family bid to save bankrupt firm

The Quinn family has lost an appeal against the forced bankruptcy of a Swedish company central to the family's €500m (£440m) international property empire.

The decision by the court in Stockholm comes almost two months after Anglo Irish Bank successfully petitioned for the appointment of a bankruptcy receiver to Quinn Investments Sweden (QIS).

The Quinns fiercely opposed the receiver's appointment, rejecting Anglo's arguments that the investment vehicle was insolvent and should be liquidated for failing to pay a €2.3bn (£2bn) debt call.

The family swiftly lodged an appeal with the Stockholm courts, prompting yesterday's judgment.

The family has another chance to appeal by September 19, the Belfast Telegraph understands.

The family could not be reached for comment.

The bank said it "welcomed" the court's decision which "should enable the Swedish group of companies to now be protected so their value can remain intact".

While a Swedish insolvency practitioner now has control of QIS, Anglo is likely to be able to have some of its nominated directors put on the board of QIS companies since Anglo controls QIS's parent.

The re-affirmation of the bankruptcy may also have an impact on legal proceedings that are being taken by QIS companies, particularly a case in the Ukraine.

There are no plans to immediately sell any parts of QIS, which owns a host of international property assets through 31 companies across Sweden, Russia, Cyprus, Ireland and the Ukraine.

The Quinns and Anglo are locked in legal battles in Russia, Cyprus, the Ukraine and Ireland over control of the property empire.

It is effectively frozen pending the outcome of those cases.

The Irish case will return to court in early September, when a judge will rule on whether the matter should be heard in Dublin or in Nicosia.

The Cyprus case is returnable in mid-September.

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