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Cable sympathy at Farepak decision
The Farepak warehouse in Swindon, Wiltshire, pictured in 2006
Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable has said he is "deeply disappointed" after a Government companies watchdog abandoned a bid to penalise directors of a Christmas hamper business which collapsed six years ago leaving tens of thousands of savers out of pocket.
The Insolvency Service said it was discontinuing High Court action against former bosses at Farepak - and its parent firm.
Mr Cable said he felt "huge" sympathy for "those who lost out" and would reflect on the decision by the Insolvency Service - which is part of his department.
A High Court judge began hearing evidence in May following the start of a trial in London.
Lawyers representing the Insolvency Service had asked Mr Justice Peter Smith to disqualify former bosses at Farepak - and its parent firm - from being company directors. Former bosses contested the disqualification applications.
The Insolvency Service announced the end of the litigation in a statement.
An Insolvency Service spokeswoman said: "The Insolvency Service, acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and on advice of counsel, will discontinue the proceedings against the directors of Farepak and European Home Retail plc. This decision is based on consideration of evidence given to the court to date."
Mr Cable added in a statement: "I am deeply disappointed by today's events and feel a huge amount of sympathy for those who lost out when the company went bankrupt.
"Without doubt, we need to reflect on this result, consider what options are on the table and seek further legal advice if needed."
Lawyers said Mr Justice Peter Smith would make a statement in court on Thursday.
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