Two ex-bosses of one of NI’s best-known family companies have been given boardroom bans for their part in an illegal construction cartel.
Eoin McCann and Francis McCann, ex-directors of FP McCann in Magherafelt, have been disqualified as directors for 12 and 11 years respectively.
The company is one of Mid-Ulster’s best-known businesses and has around 1,700 staff and annual turnover of £264m.
Watchdog the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) said that between 2006 and 2013, FP McCann had agreed with two other pre-cast concrete drainage suppliers to coordinate prices, share out the market by allocating customers and exchange other competitively sensitive information.
FP McCann appealed against the decision, but in December the CMA’s determination was upheld by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
The CMA secured the disqualification of directors of Eoin (64) and Francis McCann (51) for their part in the cartel, which broke competition law.
They had been directors for the entire period of the anti-competition conduct, and had attended cartel meetings on behalf of the company.
At 11 and 12 years starting from the end of this month, the period of their disqualification is the longest-ever boardroom ban secured by the CMA.
The pair had resigned from the company itself at the end of December.
FP McCann has been asked for comment on the disqualification.
Michael Grenfell, executive director of enforcement at the CMA, said: “The length of these disqualification periods reflects the seriousness of this case.
“The CMA will continue to take strong action, where necessary, to protect the public from illegal anticompetitive practices. The message to directors is clear — you are personally responsible for ensuring that your company complies with competition law, and if it doesn’t you risk disqualification.”
The other companies in the cartel were Stanton Bonna Concrete Ltd and CPM Group.
Philip Stacey and Robert Smillie of CPM were disqualified as directors in April 2019.
They bring the total number of disqualifications, as a result of CMA investigations, to 25.