Belfast Telegraph

Quinn Group's 'runaway' costs

By Laura Noonan

Professional advisers enjoyed fees of well over €30m (£26m) for work on the Quinn Group's finances before Anglo Irish Bank and other lenders seized control of the conglomerate in April.

The sizable fees are detailed in internal Quinn Group documents, which also reveal that former chief executive Liam McCaffrey told colleagues the costs were a "runaway train" and payments should be halted until the group's finances improved.

Mr McCaffrey and Quinn family representative David Mackey took particular issue with a €10,000 (£8,700) claim for a "one-way first class flight", which the Quinn Group refused to pay because it was not a "reasonable expense".

Quinn Group's restructuring is entering its final stage, with Anglo Irish Bank and lenders set to take ownership of the companies in mid-October. Talks between the bank and lenders on the final terms are ongoing in London.

The Quinn Group began making efforts to restructure its debt pile in late 2009 ahead of the 2010 maturity of a five-year €1.27bn (£1.1bn) bond. Adviser fees of almost €31m had been racked up by January this year.