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Swiss Re backs management buyout of Irish health insurer


DUBLIN (Reuters)—Ireland's Quinn Healthcare has been sold to management in a deal that will see its 500,000 policies underwritten by reinsurer Swiss Re Ltd.

Quinn Healthcare, Ireland's second-largest health insurer after state-owned VHI, was under the control of the state-owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation following the collapse of the business empire of its former owner, Sean Quinn.

“Management confirmed that a bid by senior management, enabled by Swiss Re as the reinsurer, has been successful,” Quinn Healthcare said in a statement. No financial details were provided.

The company will introduce a new brand, but there will be no changes to the terms and conditions of policyholders and the current staff of 334 will be retained, the statement said.

“We see this as an excellent fit with our business,” Swiss Re executive Bruce Hodkinson said.

Quinn Healthcare was originally launched in Ireland as BUPA Ireland in 1996, but was bought by Sean Quinn in 2007.

Hikes in premiums by Ireland's major health insurers in recent years have led to calls for the reform of the sector. The government has said it is considering a system of mandatory health insurance chosen from a range of providers.