Last night I was trawling newspaper archives for information on the four Anglo names. I have already posted on Seamus Ross and Jerry Conlan. While searching for information on Gerry Gannon I came across this gem from the Sunday Independent from April 2008.
A GROUP of clients of Anglo Irish Banks, including big builders and entrepreneurs, plan to set up a large investment fund to buy shares in the troubled bank.
A meeting took place in a Dublin hotel recently in which it was decided to buy shares worth up to €500m. Gerry Gannon of Gannon Homes and Sean Quinn are thought to have been targeted to join the consortium. Quinn is already a large shareholder.
Sources close to the group suggest that each member will be asked to put in several million euro. When the fund reaches €500m, it will be leveraged up with borrowings to buy further Anglo shares.
Supporters of Anglo are convinced that there are still scores of big investors who will be forced to buy back stock as a result of short selling.
Senator Ross continues:
Some of the consortium are incensed by the recent short selling of Anglo shares by stockbrokers in Dublin and London and are determined to punish the offending brokers.
Last night one member told the Sunday Independent: “We are going to teach the brokers and hedge funds that damaged the bank a salutary lesson. It is our bank, it has an entrepreneurial culture. They will come out of this with their fingers burned.”
Shares in Anglo have tanked in recent weeks, due largely to short selling. They plunged from a 12-month high of €17.53 to below €7 at one point.
The Financial Regulator has launched an investigation into dealings in the stock, especially around the St Patrick’s Day holiday when the shares were assaulted by sellers.
Anglo has bankrolled some of the State’s most successful entrepreneurs, from developer Bernard McNamara to Richard Nesbitt’s Arnotts and Mick Bailey of Bovale.
So Senator Ross knows at least one of the Anglo 10? And he knew about it two months before the operation took place? Would Mr Ross like to tell us more about the details, and the name of the person who spoke to him?
The Property Pin discussed it here at the time.
Update: The plot just got a little thicker. It was pointed out on a forum that Cowen’s infamous private dinner with Anglo Irish executives occurred around the same time. In fact, Cowen met with Anglo executives on Thursday April 24. Ross’s article was published on Sunday April 27.
Was Cowen told anything about this? Were the two meetings in fact the same meeting? Was Cowen made aware of discussions between Anglo investors?
From the article last week reporting the meeting:
But as the Taoiseach came under renewed pressure to name the ‘golden circle’ fresh details emerged of his cosy relationship with the beleaguered bank’s top brass.
Mr Cowen dined privately with Anglo Irish Bank directors at a Dublin hotel just weeks after he had been warned of a dangerous position with the bank’s shares that threatened the entire Irish financial system.
Mr Cowen was Finance Minister at the time and was told only weeks before about problems at the bank with the shareholding of multi-millionaire businessman, Sean Quinn.
He met the Anglo bankers on the night of April 24 last when he was already Taoiseach-in-waiting and when his close friend, Fintan Drury, was a member of Anglo’s board, chairing its risks and compliance committee.
The occasion was not an official public engagement, and no briefing note or formal speech was prepared by officials for the then Finance Minister.
A government spokesman insisted last night: “Private meetings are common between finance ministers and banks across the board.”