Fletcher drops legal action against IPG

Barnett Fletcher, the former Interpublic manager who alleged the group misled him into accepting shares knowing their value was about to plummet, has dropped the legal action aimed at recouping his loss.

Lawyers acting for Fletcher and IPG reached a settlement at the end of last week, five days before a hearing was due to begin at the High Court. A joint statement was expected as Campaign went to press. Details of the settlement have not been disclosed.

The lawsuit was a result of Fletcher's sale of Barnett Fletcher Promotions and The Really Big Promotions Company, to IPG in 1997. Fletcher and his wife, Jacqueline, were paid mainly in IPG shares representing a sterling equivalent of just over £4.5 million.

IPG's share price later collapsed and the US Securities & Exchange Commission launched an investigation into its accounts.

Fletcher had alleged that IPG chiefs knew the value of its shares were at risk because of the brewing scandal when it bought his companies. IPG vigorously denied his claims.