Belfast Telegraph

Sean Quinn daughters are set to step in to fight for empire

By Maeve Sheehan

The daughters of former Fermanagh tycoon Sean Quinn are expected to step forward to lead the family's bid to take back control of the business empire founded by their father.

His €500,000-a-year (£387,000) contract with Quinn Industrial Holdings Ltd was terminated last week after a protracted and bitter row with management. Their brother, Sean Jnr, who was reportedly on a €100,000 (£77,500) contract, has also agreed to step aside.

Colette Quinn, the eldest daughter of the former tycoon, and her sister, Aoife, will step into the breach left by the departure of their father.

They are now expected to take over their father's mantle and lead the family's efforts to win back the business - which has long been Sean Quinn's dream.

Both women took lead roles in directing the family's mammoth legal action against the former Anglo Irish Bank, now known as IBRC.

Sources said that it is too early to say what involvement the sisters will have in Quinn Industrial Holdings Ltd, or the parent company QBRC, and whether they would be paid or non-executive board positions.

The American investors and the management of Quinn Industrial Holdings Ltd are understood to be keen to keep the family involved in the business.

In a statement to the Impartial Reporter newspaper last week, Sean Quinn signalled that his family had not burnt its bridges with QBRC and that they would continue to work with management.

He said that he had reached an agreement with QBRC which "creates a pathway for the Quinn family to potentially realise its ambitions over time".

Quinn was warned by US investors in recent weeks to retract allegations he had made and resolve the dispute or risk losing his €500,000-a-year contract.

He had been embroiled for months in a bitter battle for control of the businesses he lost as a result of his massive debts to the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Mr Quinn's former management team persuaded US investors to buy back some of his businesses in Cavan. Sean Quinn and his son were hired as consultants to the new business, Quinn Industrial Holdings Ltd, on respective salaries of €500,000 and €100,000 a year.

Quinn dreamed of winning back ownership of the business, which led to rows with management.

The conflict triggered a fresh campaign of intimidation from supporters of Sean Quinn, including attacks on the businesses and threats to staff. Sean Quinn and his family condemned the attacks. No attacks have been reported in recent weeks, and a Facebook page dedicated to supporting Sean Quinn in his dispute with senior management has closed down.

Sean Quinn will continue to have an office for his personal use at the plant in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan.

Belfast Telegraph

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.