Potential bidders include RSA and AXA

The proposed takeover of the Quinn Group by Anglo Irish Bank is "dead in the water" because “Anglo is a deeply damaged brand. No regulator could allow it to take over Quinn,” the Irish Independent reports.

According to the same unnamed source, a deal refinancing the Quinn group has been discussed for several months.

Talks came to a head in late March when bondholders and bankers asked how the new Irish Financial Regulator, Matthew Elderfield, felt about the guarantees given by Quinn Insurance subsidiaries to other companies in the Quinn Group.

Talks continuing

Irish Broadcaster RTE and the Irish Times reported that talks were continuing between Quinn Group and Anglo Irish Bank on the terms of a possible refinancing deal for Quinn Insurance.

The Times said any deal with Anglo Irish Bank will have to be approved by the European Commission, as it would form a material change to the bank’s own yet-to-be-approved business plan, sources say.

Takeover speculation

The Irish Independent said Dutch insurer Eureko, RSA, Axa and Resolution are to be among 20 or so firms that may bid to buy the Quinn Insurance group. Irish Life & Permanent and Anglo Irish Bank are also possible bidders.

A group backed by Munich Re and fronted by former Vivas boss Oliver Tattan is also thought to have been looking at Irish opportunities for some months.

Competition issues may rule out some of the major Irish players, such as Aviva.