A BRIEF statement issued by the Co-operative Group has effectively signalled the end of the long-running Regan Affair.
Monaco-based entrepreneur Andrew Regan – whose hostile 1997 takeover bid for the then CWS shook the Movement to its core – has agreed an out-of court settlement in respect of the Group's civil action claim for £ 10 million damages relating to alleged fraudulent supply contracts negotiated over ten years ago.
The Group's statement read: `The Co-operative Group announces that it has settled its litigation against Messrs Green, Chambers, Regan, Thomas and Zimet and Hobson Ltd and Trellis International Ltd in relation to payments made to secure the extension of the Co-op Brand supply agreement in January 1995.
`This settlement has involved a substantial payment to the Co-operative Group and we now regard this matter as closed.`
The Group launched its civil action in August, 2003, after Mr Regan was cleared at Snaresbrook County Court, London, of orchestrating a £ 2.4 million theft and bribery scandal.
It was alleged that Mr Regan stole the money from his then food supply company, Hobson, to bribe two corrupt former CWS food buyers, Allan Green and David Chambers.
The two were each jailed for three and a half years in April 2002 after being found guilty of taking bribes of £ 1 million each, but Mr Regan never faced corruption charges and was charged instead with theft.
When the Co-op Group launched its latest action, it said claims had been issued against Green and Chambers who, the Group alleged, conspired with Regan, Ronald Zimet and Trellis International to deprive CWS of several million pounds.
However last week's announcement brings the case to a close and the only remaining legacy of the Regan Affair is a pending claim by the Group against Chambers, who is alleged to have induced a £ 150,000 payment from it for unfair dismissal.
Due to confidentially clauses in the settlement agreement, the Co-operative Group have declined to comment further.