Quinn Group prepares for float by refinancing its €780m debts

Quinn Insurance could be hived off from the main group and floated by 2015. The controversial Irish insurer is likely to become a standalone listed company, separated from the rest of the group owned by billionaire businessman Sean Quinn.

Chief executive Colin Morgan said: “Although no plans are final at this early stage, the most likely mechanism for converting the Quinn Group into a publically quoted company would be two IPOs, one for insurance and one for the [group’s] manufacturing activities.”

The insurer, which has a significant UK presence in construction, motor and professional indemnity, has courted controversy among its peers with its reputedly low prices, proactive claims settlement policy and refusal to have a credit rating since it withdrew from Moody’s in 2008.

In October 2008, founder Sean Quinn stepped down from the board of the insurer after being slapped with a €3.25m (£2.85m) fine from the Irish regulator for breaching regulatory requirements.

Quinn said this week: “I believe that [a flotation] will be in the best long-term interests of the group, its employees and its shareholders. We have now decided that this proposal will be implemented by the end of 2015, at which point we expect to be trading at record levels of profitability.”

The insurer is paving the way for the float by refinancing the group’s €780m debts, due to mature in October this year.

A spokesman said: “The group has €700m of bank debt and €80m of bonds that mature in October this year, and it is working with its financiers to refinance these facilities.

“We are confident this will be brought to a successful conclusion over the coming months. There is no final coupon on this debt as interest has been paid on an ongoing basis.”