Jim Flavin was with Fyffes from 1980s to 2000


Mr Jim Flavin (58) is chief executive and deputy chairman of distribution and investment group DCC, which he founded in 1976.

He was a business associate of Fyffes chairman, Mr Neil McCann, for more than 20 years, holding a non-executive position on the board of the fruit company from the 1980s until 2000. His involvement with Fyffes ended shortly after DCC sold its 10.2 per cent stake in the company shortly before a profits warning.

Mr Flavin is well known in the Irish business community and his experience in running the highly successful DCC has made him much sought-after as a non-executive director.

The Minister for Public Enterprise, Ms O'Rourke appointed him to the board of Eircom in 1999 ahead of its flotation.

He found himself in the spotlight in 1988 as a key player in the takeover battle for Irish Distillers. Mr Flavin is acknowledged as the joint mastermind with Mr McCann behind Fyffes' purchase of 20 per cent of Irish Distillers less than a year before the company came into play.

It was Mr Flavin who gave a verbal undertaking to sell Fyffes shares to the French drinks company Pernod Ricard but sought to break this deal in favour of a better offer from the UK company Grand Met.

The deal ended up in the courts where Mr Flavin's handshake with the former stockbroker, Mr Dermot Desmond, who was representing Pernod Ricard, was upheld.

Before founding DCC, he worked as head of AIB's venture capital unit. Mr Flavin has said that any investigation into suspected insider trading involving the sale last year of Fyffes shares worth €106.7 million would find no impropriety.

One month after the sale, Fyffes shares declined sharply on foot of a warning that profits would be weaker than market expectations.