Anglo Irish in disclosure victory

ANGLO Irish Bank has secured a significant advance in the British High Court in its campaign to discover the sources of false and damaging rumours about the company whose share price has been cut by a third this year.

London stockbroker house, Mirabaud Securities Ltd, has supplied Anglo Irish Bank with a raft of information arising from a “process of disclosure” lawsuit filed by Ireland’s third-largest bank in London.

It is understood Anglo is accessing the information it has received on foot of court orders before deciding what further legal, or other action, to pursue.

Anglo Irish Bank had not sought damages from Mirabaud in its original action which has now concluded.

The court process commenced after Anglo Irish Bank sued Mirabaud, claiming the London stockbroker spread a false rumour that Merrill Lynch & had withdrawn a $2 billion (€1.29bn) credit line to Anglo.

Merrill Lynch does not supply Anglo Irish Bank with credit and is not accused of any wrongdoing.

The bank claimed in a complaint filed in the High Court in London that a Mirabaud employee sent an email on February 29 that said: “Anglo-Irish, ML pull a $2bln credit line? Rumor.’”

Anglo sought to find out who sent the email and who received it. Mirabaud has, under the “process of disclosure” court process, supplied Anglo with the information it sought. The process has the effect of granting Mirabaud protection from third party suits arising from its disclosures to the bank.

The suit was filed in April after regulators in Ireland and Britain said they were investigating cases of potential market abuse by traders manipulating share prices by spreading false rumours.

Anglo Irish Bank’s shares have fallen 38% this year, making it the second-worst performer of the seven companies which make up the ISEF, an index of Irish financial stocks.

The bank has received a court-ordered copy of communications between the source of the email, Mirabaud and any third party between February 25 and March 7.

Mirabaud chairman, Marc Pereire, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Anglo Irish Bank said in its lawsuit that the email is both “untrue and defamatory”.


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