Belfast Telegraph

Quinn 'appalled' by takeover bill

Debt-hit tycoon Sean Quinn has claimed it is "truly appalling" to force consumers to pay a 600 million euro bill for the takeover of his insurance wing.

The penalty, which looks likely to be covered using a special tax, is expected to be demanded under a deal by Anglo-Irish Bank and US insurer Liberty Mutual to buy the entrepreneur's Quinn Insurance.

It is understood the bill could run to 620 million euro under the state's Insurance Compensation Fund and take a decade to repay.

Mr Quinn, who was stripped of his business empire over a near 3 billion euro debt to Anglo, lashed out at the plan.

His losses include the group's cash-cow, Quinn Insurance, which has been in forced administration since last year.

"It is a truly appalling admission by the administrators of enormous damage they have caused to one of Ireland's most successful companies in just 13 months," he said.

It is understood that the takeover will only go through if company losses are not forced on the buyers.

The Department of Finance said it has not received an application from administrators to sanction the sale of Quinn Insurance to the Anglo-Liberty Mutual joint venture, but Finance Minister Michael Noonan has suggested twice in recent weeks that the deal may involve the insurance fund being tapped.

In a statement, Mr Quinn claimed that the once hugely lucrative insurer has seen its turnover fall by two-thirds in administration. It also claimed costs have soared.

The administrators declined to comment.

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