In the face of reports earlier this week that Liberty Mutual, Travelers and Anglo Irish Bank were on the short list to take over capital-weak Quinn Insurance, the Irish Financial Regulator announced that it would not be telling who is on the short list. Laura Noonan at the Irish Independent has the story.
Meanwhile, she reports that Allianz and Zurich may also be on the short-list.
So officially the decision-makers aren’t talking. But someone is.
I guess it’s not really important whether the world sees who the finalists are, but at this point the Financial Regulator’s official concern – that such an action “may adversely affect the progress of the sale” – seems quaint.
As I’ve written before, the adverse effect was the quite public bidding process up to now. In the States, insurance takeovers are handled quietly and quickly. You generally don’t hear about a takeover until it has been completed, because no one wants the bad news to ruin the franchise.
Here, the bad news is known. Heck, I’m blogging about it an ocean away. And the interest is great – I can see it in my page views every time I write about Quinn. The Financial Regulator’s hand-wringing at this remove seems pointless.