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Anglo in new bid to buy Quinn Insurance

Management at Anglo Irish Bank are understood to be working on a revised proposal to take over Quinn Insurance in partnership with a foreign insurer.

The bank, owned by the Irish government, hopes that by teaming up with a major international insurer from outside Ireland it will overcome fears of the country's Financial Regulator that it would not be able to fund the deal.

Anglo is still owed €2.8bn by the Quinn family.

The Quinn Group has signalled that it is willing to sell Quinn Insurance to secure the firm's future, and administrators are preparing to seek submissions from more than 40 suitors lining up to buy the business.

Meanwhile, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said she had met with Irish Regulator Matthew Elderfield to discuss the plight of the 900 Quinn Insurance workers who are to lose their jobs, including 200 in Fermanagh.

She said: "At yesterday's meeting with the Irish Regulator, I sought clarification on the strategy being pursued to return Quinn Insurance to a sound commercial footing.

"I emphasised the importance of Quinn Insurance to the Northern Ireland economy and stressed the staff's concerns for their future employment.

"I can confirm that my department will continue to provide whatever support is necessary to the company administrators and the Irish Regulator to help find a resolution to the remaining issues."

Ms Foster also met with Leslie Ross, the former Invest NI chief who is co-ordinating the Government's response to the Quinn Insurance situation, and Brendan Hegarty, acting chief executive of Fermanagh District Council.

Mr Ross will liaise with the relevant Northern Ireland departments, Invest NI, InterTradeIreland, the administrator, the regulators and local councils, as well as enterprise agencies.