Regrettably, there has been a resumption of false allegations and intimidation against QIH, its owners, officers and staff. Most recently, our understanding is that Sean Quinn and members of an informal group, labelling itself the Cavan, Fermanagh & Leitrim Community Group, organised a public meeting where false information concerning QIH and its historical relationship with Sean Quinn was propagated. This meeting comes on the heels of an onslaught of negative messaging and false information posted online, as well as physical intimidation against officers, directors and staff of QIH and their families.
For the record, the Board, the Investor Group and QBRC, fully support QIH’s senior management team and the strategic direction of the business. QIH is arguably on its strongest footing in the history of the company. Since acquiring the business, QIH has increased employment by a further 190 people, increasing total employees to a record 830 which is a 30% increase since 2014. Sales are up 29% while earnings are up 285% and we have invested €35 million in new production technology, road fleet and mobile plant.
This also has a multiplier effect in the local community, helping to support local businesses, many of whom have grown alongside QIH in the last four years. We view this as strongly supporting the current strategy of QIH, the approach of the management team and is reflective of the hard work of our employees.
Following detailed consultation with the QIH Board, the majority of whom are representatives of the Investor Group, we believe it is appropriate to outline the facts:
- In 2014, QBRC presented a business proposal to the Investor Group to acquire the Construction Products and Packaging businesses to fulfil its mission of retaining local jobs and reinvigorating the local economy, whilst generating an acceptable return to the ownership group
- QBRC’s business plan included reintroducing local senior management who successfully operated the businesses in the past
- The Investor Group supported the reintroduction of senior management with the explicit condition that Sean Quinn could not have a management role or ownership stake in the business given his ongoing legal issues, his ill-fated investment in Anglo Irish Bank and the resulting collapse of the Quinn Group
- The Investor Group, QBRC and senior management formed QIH to acquire the Construction Products and Packaging businesses from the Aventas Group, completing the acquisition in December 2014
- In early 2015, the senior management team and QBRC advocated strongly for a consulting role for Sean Quinn and Sean Quinn Jr and after careful consideration, the Investor Group acceded to this request offering Sean and his son substantial consultancy fees, an opportunity to engage positively with the business and a chance to develop a relationship with the Board
- The ownership group was optimistic that the consultancy arrangement would be beneficial to the business. However, it soon became clear to the ownership group that Sean’s expectations for the business were incompatible with their views, which was heightened by his efforts to undermine the senior management team and the strategic direction of the business
- Amidst it becoming clear that the consultancy arrangement was unlikely to be productive, Sean raised multiple allegations of fraud and inappropriate behaviour by the senior management team
- The Board hired 3rd party advisors to review each allegation raised by Sean, and each allegation was proven completely false
- Throughout this period Sean was given every opportunity to take a more constructive path but failed to do so
- In May 2016 the Board and Sean Quinn mutually agreed to terminate his and Sean Jr.’s consultancy agreement
The external activity propagated is a distraction and an enormous misjudgement that only serves to weaken the agenda of those involved in such activities, putting jobs and the economic vitality of the community at risk. The resurgence of negativity and misinformation will not distract our focus of continuing to be strong stewards of the business, and we will make every effort to steer this company on a continued successful path. A small group will not detract us from this objective, and we will take appropriate and robust action commencing with legal action against those propagating misinformation online.
We thank you for your continued efforts in supporting the business and we will strive to reciprocate with our own support for the business in the years ahead.