Former Irish Billionaire Sean Quinn Declared Bankrupt

Sean Quinn, once Ireland’s richest man, was declared bankrupt after losing more than one billion euros ($1.3 billion) investing in Anglo Irish Bank Corp.

Judge Elizabeth Dunne ruled on the bankruptcy in Ireland’s High Court in Dublin today. While Quinn didn’t contest the bankruptcy petition brought by Irish Bank Resolution Corp., formerly Anglo Irish Bank, he said the lender had a “vendetta” against him.

The IBRC estimates that Quinn, whose fortune was valued at around $6 billion by Forbes magazine in 2008, owes the bank almost 2.9 billion euros. The lender in April appointed a share receiver to take over the Quinn family’s equity interest in Quinn Group, a conglomerate whose businesses included building materials, insurance and real estate before it was split up.

Today’s ruling comes after a Belfast court on Jan. 10 overturned a voluntary bankruptcy ruling on Quinn in Northern Ireland. The Belfast court ruled that Quinn’s main center of business activities was in the Republic of Ireland rather than in Northern Ireland where the law allows a bankrupt to return to business after 12 months.

In November, IBRC was awarded judgments in the High Court in Dublin of 2.16 billion euros against money owed by Quinn.

Anglo Irish was nationalized in 2009 as its real estate loans soured. The state has injected about 30 billion euros into the lender to save it from collapse.

“Today Anglo achieved their goal of ensuring that I will never create another job,” Quinn said in an e-mailed statement. “The position of the Irish taxpayer could have improved significantly, by a more reasonable approach to the issues involved.”

IBRC said it has no vendetta against Quinn. The bank said it had received personal guarantees for more than 2 billion euros from the businessman.

“The bank’s singular focus is to recover as much as possible from the remaining assets over which the bank has legal security,” it said in a statement today. “It is this singular focus that is in the best interests of the state.”

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