Northern Ireland

Sean Quinn 'can pay back £2bn debt' to Anglo Irish Bank

Sean Quinn
Image caption Sean Quinn said he could pay his debts by 2017

Sean Quinn has said he has a plan which will allow him to repay his family's vast bank loans within seven years.

Speaking to broadcaster RTE Mr Quinn said all profits from Quinn Insurance would "go to the reduction of the Anglo debt, 100% of it".

Mr Quinn owes Anglo Irish Bank 2.8bn euros. He has a 15% in the bank which is now under state ownership in the Irish Republic.

He said he felt "very bad" if people had to lose their jobs because of a "mistake" he made in buying the shares.

"The staff have been very loyal to me over the last 30 odd years, and I would feel very bad about the fact that so many of them are being laid off.

"If they were being laid off because they were losing money, then I could understand it. They're laid off by the most profitable insurance company in Ireland for 10 consecutive years, margin-wise.

"When you're laid off because Sean Quinn, the chairman, lost three billion in shares, it's tough, it's tough."

Redundancies

Quinn Insurance was put into administration by the High Court in Dublin in March after the Financial Regulator for Ireland raised concerns about its solvency.

More than 900 workers have applied for voluntary redundancy.

The company has offices in Navan, Cavan and Dublin and 200 of the jobs will go in Northern Ireland at Enniskillen and Derrylin.

At the end of April the Quinn Group said Quinn Insurance should be sold, but Mr Quinn's proposal to clear the debt involves the insurance arm of the company staying within the group.

"In seven years times, we have a projection to 2017, we would have made enough profit in the meantime, plus the value of the company, in seven years time would clear 100% of the debt," he said."

Mr Quinn told RTE that the debt was secured on "property throughout the world, in nine countries".

He said the value of that property was about 1bn euros, but that the 2bn euros gap between the Quinn assets and the bank debt could be "very easily paid back".

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