Tuesday, September 25 08:29:20
Family members of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn are to seek to remove a receiver appointed over their personal assets and his lawyers amid claims over a possible conflict of interest. The Commercial Court will hear an application from seven members of Mr Quinn's family on October 9th to have the receiver, Declan Taite of accountancy firm RSM Farrell Grant Sparks, and his solicitors Arthur Cox discharged. The proceedings involve Mr Quinn's daughters Colette, Aoife, Brenda and Ciara; sons-in-law Stephen Kelly and Niall McPartland and daughter-in-law Karen Woods. They were representing themselves in court after Irish firm Eversheds stopped representing them earlier this month.
Sean Quinn jnr, who is serving a three-month sentence for contempt, did not attend, nor did his cousin Peter Darragh Quinn, who has avoided a similar sentence by moving outside the jurisdiction. Mr McPartland, a solicitor speaking for the Quinns, said they believed Mr Taite, who was appointed on an application by the former Anglo Irish Bank, and his lawyers had a conflict of interest. While he did not want to impugn anyone's character or did not outline the specific conflict, he said the family believe that Mr Taite was being "pointed in a particular direction by the bank" in seeking information about a Quinn company called Bazzely.
The Madeira company, which was owned by Mr Quinn's children but not controlled by them, was used to amass his 28 per cent stake in Anglo Irish Bank. Mr Quinn was left with large debts after the collapse in the bank's share price during the financial crash of 2008. The court was due to hear an application from Mr Taite seeking books, records and documents relating to the Quinns' financial and tax affairs and their assets. The Irish Times
International packaging group Smurfit Kappa is set to buy a US-based rival for E260 million in a deal that will boost earnings and profitability. The Dublin-listed group said yesterday that it has agreed to buy Orange County Container Group (OCCG) for $340 million (E260 million) in cash. OCCG employs 2,800 people in manufacturing corrugated containerboard, and has operations in the southern US and in northern Mexico, where most of its business is concentrated. Smurfit said yesterday that the E260 million asking price will be paid from its cash resources.
OCCG is expected to deliver $53 million in earnings this year. Smurfit said it will fit with its existing operations and will deliver $14 million in savings within two years of its takeover. The companies expect to complete the deal some time between October 1st and the end of the year, subject to customary conditions and regulators' approval. Once the deal goes through, it is expected to add to the packaging group's earnings. Smurfit Kappa chief financial officer, Ian Curley, said yesterday that combined with its existing operations the OCCG deal will increase its share of the Mexican market to 17 per cent from 12 per cent. Mexico is the second largest market in central and south America outside Brazil, and is one of the fastest growing in the region. The Irish Times
AIB property lending policies were far more aggressive in Ireland during the peak of the boom than in the heart of the worldwide financial system in London, a court has heard. A former senior staff member of the bank yesterday gave an insight into the "heady days" before the recession in the English capital, when the bank was rapidly expanding its loan book to a host of international investors.
Michael Cooke, who was hired in 1999 to find new customers, said Irish lending practices in the property market were far more aggressive in Dublin than what was allowed in London. In England, it was usual to lend up to 75pc of the value of the property -- in the case where the site had a leased tenant on it. However, in Ireland, lenders would give out up to 95pc of the value of the property and could extend to 100pc in instances where land was being acquired. His comments came at the latest day of the trial of Achilleas Kallakis and Alexander Williams, who are accused of orchestrating an elaborate scheme to take out E920m worth of loans from AIB between 2003 and 2008 using false documentation. The Irish Independent
On a day when most parts of the country were soaked in torrential downpours, it emerged that thousands of people have decided to give up on saving for a rainy day. And in this case, the rainy day is life after work. The news that thousands of people have pressed pause on pension payments will hardly come as a shock. But it is a sign of turbulence ahead. And the bad news on pensions has been building for a while now.
Just 772,000 people are members of a pension scheme, with less than half of those in the public sector. Another 200,000 self-employed people have a pension. This is a pathetically small number, given that there are some 2.2 million people in the workforce. But the concept of saving for retirement has been left reeling from a series of body blows.
The decrepit state of household finances means that a far-away event like retirement is shoved to one side as workers struggle to meet day-to-day bills. The Irish Independent