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Friday, April 17, 1998 Published at 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK


Case dropped against men in Co-op bid
image: [ Management at the Co-op vigorously fought off the hostile takeover ]
Management at the Co-op vigorously fought off the hostile takeover

The Crown Prosecution Service says there is insufficient evidence to justify prosecuting three men following the attempted hostile takeover of the Co-operative Wholesale Society last year.

Its announcement followed a review of the case against Andrew Regan, his partner David Lyons and former Co-op executive Allan Green.

The CPS said it would not be restarting proceedings against the three men in connection with the alleged theft of documents during the takeover attempt.

A spokesman said: "There will therefore be no further action."

Call to close legal loophole

The controversial takover bid exposed a gap in the law over the theft of boardroom secrets.

A senior employee of the Co-op who was accused of stealing documents from the company could not be charged with theft of the confidential information they contained.

Currently it is an offence to steal a piece of paper, but not the information on it.

The Law Commission however has said that stealing trade secrets should be made a crime in England and Wales and its proposals to abolish the loophole are under consideration by the Government.


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