Irish fruit importer Fyffes has lost its insider trading case against a former director, DCC managing director Jim Flavin.

Fyffes had demanded that €85m be returned to it after it alleged that Flavin and DCC broke stock market rules by selling Fyffes shares while they were in possession of price sensitive information. That information had given to Flavin in January 2000, in his capacity as non-executive director of Fyffes, the fruit company claimed.

A profit of €85m was made when the Fyffes shares were sold in February 2000 for €106m. In March Fyffes issued a profit warning and its share price fell 25%.

However, Justice Mary Laffoy said DCC was "not in possession of price-sensitive information" when the shares were sold, and so the shares sales were not unlawful.

Fyffes chief executive Carl McCann said it was "disappointed" and would consider appealing.