Irish group is considering sale of entire insurance business

The Quinn Group has admitted that it is now seriously considering selling Quinn Insurance in a move to "protect the maximum number of jobs."

Quinn Insurance staff in Ireland and the UK are being briefed this afternoon by its joint administrators on the scale of the redundancies within the company.

The Quinn Group board said it is "greatly saddened" by the expected redundancies and said it has has been "overwhelmed by the support of its loyal staff and customer base across the group in recent weeks and most especially by the support shown by the employees of Quinn Insurance."

However it said that it had reluctantly come to the conclusion that, in the interests of all stakeholders but especially Quinn Insurance employees, it should consider selling Quinn Insurance.

Quinn Group chief executive Liam McCaffrey said: “Since the appointment of provisional administrators on 30th March and the confirmation of their appointment on 15th April 2010, the Group board has been considering a number of options but has now reluctantly concluded that in view of the funding required to meet the solvency requirements laid down by the Financial Regulator, the future of Quinn Insurance is probably best protected under new ownership. Accordingly we will be working closely with the Joint Administrators to see if this objective can be achieved in as short a time as possible with the hope that this will protect the maximum number of jobs."

He added: "Quinn Insurance has a robust and profitable business model with a skilled and loyal workforce. However prolonging the situation is not in anyone's interest and that is why we have reached this decision.”

The administrators are so far believed to have received up to 50 expressions of interest from investors in Quinn Insurance.

Anglo Irish Bank has previously submitted proposals to take control of parts of the Quinn Group, while insurers includes AXA, Allianz, RSA and Irish firm FBD have also been touted as buyers.