The last mention I can find, in the Slugger archive, of the financial entanglement of the Quinn Group (ROI) Ltd and the Anglo Irish Bank was in June last year – when Seán Quinn told RTÉ’s Prime Time that he had a plan to repay the €2.8 billion the Quinn family owes Anglo Irish Bank within seven years.
In proceedings against Anglo and receiver Kieran Wallace, the family are seeking to overturn the appointment of Mr Wallace by Anglo as receiver over shares held by them in the Quinn Group and various related companies.
They claim that charges made in favour of Anglo from late 2003 up to 2009 over shares held in Quinn Group (RoI) Ltd, Quinn Quarries Ltd, Slieve Russell Hotel Ltd, Quinn Finance Holding, Quinn Group Hotels Ltd and Quinn Group Properties Ltd are invalid, unenforceable and of no legal effect.
The appointment of Mr Wallace on April 14th last as receiver over those shareholdings on foot of the disputed charges is also invalid and unenforceable, the family claim.
They want orders restraining him acting as receiver and setting aside his appointment.
They also want declarations that undated guarantees provided by them to Anglo over the liabilities of several Cyprus-registered companies are invalid and unenforceable.
More details of the Quinn family claims here
Aoife Quinn said in an affidavit the plaintiffs signed personal guarantees in late 2008 over certain loans by Anglo to Cypriot-registered companies owned by the family without being told of the “precarious” financial position of Anglo. They had no independent legal or financial advice and the nature of the loan documents was never discussed with them, she said.
The lending by Anglo to various Quinn companies and to the Cypriot companies, whether directly or via other companies held by members of the Quinn family, “was in support of an illegal objective of market manipulation” prohibited by the relevant EU Directive on Market Abuse, she said.
The lending was “tainted with illegality, or was intended to support an illegal purpose, such that the said loans are not enforceable”.
On those and other grounds, the family claim Anglo was not entitled last month to appoint Kieran Wallace as receiver over shares in several Quinn group companies. They also claim the bank cannot pursue them under the guarantees for repayment of the loans to the Cypriot companies.
They also claim they are entitled to hundreds of million Euro in damages as a result of the actions of the bank. They allege negligence, breach of duty and intentional and/or negligent infliction of economic damage.
Last weeek the bank applied for “an interlocutory injunction preventing the Quinn family from transferring assets”
Presenting the core case for Anglo, Shane Murphy, SC, claimed that members of the Quinn family had engaged in wrongful conduct in taking steps to establish a corporate group representing a ‘mirror structure.‘
“The defendants are moving in a way designed to remove assets from the IPG (the archipelago of Quinn companies.) If that continues the plaintiff would find itself effectively dealing with a skeleton,” Mr Murphy said.
Mr Murphy said the process amounted to a conspiracy because there was more than one person involved and said there was an absence of clarity surrounding ‘a pattern of dispossession’ connected to shares in the Quinn family’s property portfolio.
Today the BBC are reporting what looks to be a campaign of serious vandalism targeted at those companies once owned by Seán Quinn.
The incidents date from around the time Anglo Irish Bank took control of much of Mr Quinn’s empire, the BBC has learned.
The vandalism has caused hundreds of thousands of pounds in damage.
In the most recent attack, a cement factory near Derrylin was targeted and about £250,000 of damage caused.
Vans, a lorry and other construction vehicles were destroyed in the incident at the weekend.
Three electricity poles near Kinawley in County Fermanagh were also cut down.
There have been 14 similar incidents in the past three months. NIE said someone could be killed if the vandalism continues.
Police have said they have increased patrols in the area following the incidents, with officers being drafted in from outside County Fermanagh.