News Irish News

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Flavin now 'back in business' after probe

Former DCC boss's decision to resume career will raise eyebrows

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Businessman Jim Flavin who was at the centre of the controversial DCC/Fyffes case, has declared his intention to return to the world of business.

After five years in the corporate wilderness, brought about as a result of the DCC insider trading scandal, the founder and former chief executive of the company has stated his intention to become "centrally involved in commercial life again".

News of the 67-year-old businessman's intention to go back to work comes just days after the publication of High Court inspector Bill Shipsey SC's report into the DCC affair, in which it was concluded that Mr Flavin had genuinely believed he was not in possession of price-sensitive information when he dealt in Fyffes shares worth €106m in early February 2000.

Clearly buoyed by the report's findings, a statement was released to the Sunday Independent regarding Mr Flavin's plans for the future.

"Mr Flavin wants to make it clear that he resigned rather than retired from DCC. He did not consider himself to be retired. He has always enjoyed commercial life and fully intends to become centrally involved in commercial life again," his spokeswoman said.

Asked if Mr Flavin is -- or has been -- involved in discussions or negotiations with anybody in relation to re-entering the business world, the spokeswoman said she was unable to comment further.

ANALYSIS PAGE 40

The former DCC chief executive's determination to return to the boardroom is sure to raise eyebrows, however, given the controversy which has dogged him for the past five years.

In 2007, both the reputation of Mr Flavin and of DCC took a battering when five judges of the Supreme Court overturned an earlier High Court ruling, finding that he had been in possession of price-sensitive information when he dealt in shares in Fyffes -- a company in which he was a non-executive director -- in February 2000.

Within weeks of Mr Flavin's move, the Fyffes share price tumbled by 25 per cent when the company issued a trading statement to the stock exchange.

The devastating Supreme Court ruling came on foot of a civil case taken by Fyffes and saw DCC handing over €41m in damages to the fruit importers and other parties.

While Mr Flavin was initially opposed to resigning his position at DCC following the Supreme Court's ruling against him, he did so in 2008 after the Director of Corporate Enforcement Paul Appleby sought the appointment of a High Court inspector into the DCC affair.

Last Tuesday, Mr Appleby said that there was now no "cause for action" based on the conclusions of the High Court inspector's report.

"Sometimes with investigations, the suspicions that may have triggered them are found not to be a cause for action and that is what happened in this instance," Mr Appleby said.

Sunday Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News