Belfast Telegraph

Quinns deny €2.3bn liability

Bankrupt tycoon’s family blame bank’s ‘criminal conduct’

By Aoife Finneran

The family of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn are effectively claiming they are not liable for loans of €2.3bn (£1.97bn) to Anglo Irish Bank because Mr Quinn and the bank were engaged in the “criminal offence” of market manipulation, a court has heard.

Paul Gallagher SC, for Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo), told the Commercial Court the Quinn family's claim they were not liable for the loans and were entitled to take over “the Quinn empire” again, free of debt, is “extraordinary”. He said to support this claim, the family had had to allege criminal conduct and market manipulation.

The bank has brought an application before the Commercial Court, seeking a preliminary hearing to determine key issues in the family's case. Paul Gallagher SC, for the bank, said this would narrow the issues and save “enormous” costs and court time.

Patricia Quinn and her five children — Ciara, Colette, Brenda, Aoife and Sean Quinn Jnr — are suing the bank arising from events leading to the family losing control of companies within the Quinn Group.

The family is opposing the application for a preliminary hearing, claiming that it is unlikely to shorten the trial. They also want to see certain documents before finalising their claim.

In insisting that they have no liability for €2.34bn (£2bn) loans to various Quinn firms, they claim the loans were issued for the “illegal objective” of supporting the bank's share price and Anglo was not entitled to appoint a receiver over shares in a number of Quinn firms. The bank denies this.

IBRC wants the court to rule whether the family has the necessary legal standing to make claims of breaches of the Market Abuse Regulations (MAR) in relation to the funding of Contracts for Difference (CfD) positions in Anglo or breaches of the Companies Act.

The bank wants the court to decide if any loans or part of loans were made to meet CfD calls in Anglo and whether such loans breached the MAR or Section 60. It denies the family's claim the €2.3bn loans are unenforceable. It says that even if these loans are unenforceable, additional loans of €500m (£428m) are unrelated to the Anglo CfD loans and are enforceable and recoverable.

Belfast Telegraph