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Liberty to rebrand Ireland's Quinn Insurance


DUBLIN (Reuters)—U.S. general insurer Liberty Mutual Group will rebrand Quinn Insurance as Liberty Insurance next year after completing its takeover of the Irish-based insurer on Monday.

"We are pleased with this acquisition as it enables us to enter the Irish market as the economy begins to recover," David H. Long, Liberty Mutual's chief executive said in a statement.

Quinn Insurance, which has 275,000 customers, was put into administration last year after Ireland's financial regulator said it was not meeting solvency requirements.

Quinn Insurance's former owner Sean Quinn lost control of the firm and the rest of his empire after Anglo Irish Bank, recently renamed Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, said he owed it up to €2.9 billion ($3.98 billion).

Mr. Quinn disputes the size of his debts to IBRC. Ireland's once richest man declared himself bankrupt on Friday with assets of less than £50,000 ($80,325).

Liberty Mutual acquired 51% of Quinn Insurance earlier this year and will run the group. IBRC retains a 49% stake.

Ireland's state-run Insurance Compensation Fund is paying Liberty Mutual €738 million ($1.02 billion) to take over Quinn Insurance funded by a levy on insurance policyholders.

The government has said the alternative to the takeover of Quinn Insurance would be its liquidation at a cost of up to €1.3 billion($1.79 billion).

Liberty Mutual in Ireland will be run by Patrick O'Brien, a former chief operating officer of Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe.

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