He was once the richest man in Ireland – now Sean Quinn has been barred from any involvement in the company he built from scratch into the flagship success story of the Celtic Tiger.
Quinn has been removed altogether from the Quinn Group he founded with a hundred pound loan, the move coming at the bequest of Anglo Irish Bank after their receiver took up residence on Friday morning.
Ironically it was a massive punt on Anglo shares that cost Quinn his fortune, estimated at a whopping $7billion by Forbes Magazine in 2007.
Now nationalised and in the process of being wound down, Anglo took the action against Quinn after his failure to repay a $4billion loan used to fund ‘massive and complex investments in Anglo’ according to the Irish Independent.
The Fermanagh businessman’s holdings in the Quinn Group will be transferred to a receiver in a deal that secures the company’s 2,600 manufacturing jobs, including 1,000 in Ireland.
The various businesses of the Quinn manufacturing group, which include glass, construction, insulation materials, packaging, plastics and radiators in a number of countries, have also been protected for five years.
A company spokesman told the Independent: “This is good news for workers and will help to give the businesses some breathing space.”
Shares in the Quinn group held by other members of the fallen tycoon’s family also transfer to the receiver.
Quinn Group chairman Pat O’Neill paid tribute to his former boss. “He deservedly earned the respect and admiration of people all over Ireland for the work done in starting and building up the Quinn Group businesses to the level they have reached today,” said O’Neill.
“Sadly, in more recent years a number of well-publicised events have left the manufacturing group with substantial borrowings which, quite simply, the group could not service.
“If these debts were not restructured, the businesses could not survive in their present form.
“We do not anticipate job losses from or related to this restructuring. On the contrary it will help to protect jobs. There are no plans whatever to break up the manufacturing businesses.”
Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he welcomed the deal brokered by Anglo and brought into effort at the start of business on Friday.
“I welcome the debt restructuring plan which has been agreed in principle between Anglo Irish Bank and the group’s lenders,” said Minister Noonan.
“This structure will enable the good and strong businesses to continue to trade and grow. It is particularly important that there will be no impact on employment, on trade creditors or on day-to-day operations of the Quinn Group.”
Noonan has also confirmed that a preferred bidder – believed to be US giant Liberty Mutual – has been found for the Quinn Insurance group in a separate deal.
The deal has yet to be approved by theIrish Central Bank for the insurance company, in administration for a year now.
The Minister added: “I welcome the positives of the proposed agreement in that almost all 1,500 jobs in Quinn Insurance will be retained.”