In a high profile take-over bid, entrepreneur Andrew Regan's attempt to take control of the Cooperative Wholesale Society grabbed media attention in the mid-1990s. However it was his dealings with the CWS in 1995 to extend an exclusive contract one of his companies had to supply CO-OP own-brand products from his food production/packaging factories. Suspicions were brought to the SFO that two senior CWS executives, Allan Green and David Chambers, had been secretly paid by Andrew Regan out of his company's funds to help him secure the new contract.
In 2002 the two CWS executives were found guilty of each taking a £1 million bribe. Both were jailed for 3 ½ years. The corrupt payments were traced and confiscated.
Andrew Regan was charged with the theft of £2.4 million from his company in order to pay the bribes and cover other costs. No verdict could be reached in his first trial. The jury were dismissed part way through the second trial and he was acquitted at the third trial.