Bidders closing in on deal to buy Quinn Insurance

The race to buy Quinn Insurance is almost over with the successful bidder set to be announced within the next two weeks, the Irish Independent reports.

The bidders include a joint venture between Anglo Irish Bank and US insurer Liberty Mutual.

Other companies understood to be running the rule over the Irish insurer include Zurich and Allianz.

However they are only interested in Quinn customers and not the outstanding claims, the paper said.

Australian bank Macquarie is handling the sale on behalf of administrator Grant Thornton.

Banking sources told the paper that the Insurance Compensation Fund, which could be used to plug deficits at the group as part of a break-up, is not part of the ongoing sale negotiations.

Up to €400m could be needed to plug the hole in Quinn's balance sheet, it is understood.

It is also possible that a break-up of the group could involve a stripping out of the outstanding claims, which would be put into a separate vehicle.

Meanwhile, Quinn’s health insurance division has its own list of three potential suitors and could be sold separately from the general insurance business, according to The Sunday Business Post.

However, the company’s founder, Sean Quinn, will not be involved in the business in the future, having been excluded from the joint Anglo-Liberty bid, it added.