Arrested Morrisons executive Paul Coyle held roles ‘key to Ocado deal’

Paul Coyle arrested on suspicion of buying Ocado shares before deal made public

The Morrisons executive arrested for alleged insider dealing in the online grocery group Ocado was a director both of the supermarket’s internet delivery company and its property arm.

Paul Coyle was named yesterday as the man arrested on suspicion of buying a stake in Ocado before it was made public that Morrisons was going to sign a deal which boosted the internet grocer’s share price.

While his main position at the company was as its group treasurer and head of tax, filings with Companies House reveal he also held directorships of companies called Wm Morrison Online Ltd, based at its headquarters in Bradford, and Wm Morrison Property Investments Ltd, based in Glasgow.

The names of the companies suggest both may have been involved in the deal, as it included a property transaction whereby Morrisons would buy an Ocado distribution centre in Dordon, Warwickshire. Morrisons declined to say what either company’s role was.

Mr Coyle’s CV, as listed on the Yatedo website, states how his job at Wm Morrison includes providing support services “on PAYE and other transactional taxes”, as well as “transactional banking”. The former KPMG tax manager joined Morrisons from the RAC, where he had been head of tax, in 2006.

While his Yatedo entry states he was president of the Student Union at Dundee University between 1987 and 1988, the current president denied this, saying Mr Coyle only ran the student’s representative council. Yatedo’s source for the claim is not clear.

Mr Coyle was arrested in Harrogate at the behest of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which has never named him. The organisation said only that the man was a 49-year-old employee of Morrisons.

Documents show that he resigned as a trustee and director of Harrogate District Hospice Care, known locally as the St Michael’s Hospice, last month, four days after his arrest following a premises search by the North and West Yorkshire Police.

Tony Collins, St Michael’s chief executive, said: “He informed us before Christmas that he wished to step down from this voluntary position but gave no reason for this decision.”

The FCA said insider dealing is a criminal offence punishable by a fine or up to seven years imprisonment. It has not said how many Ocado shares were allegedly purchased.

The arrest followed an investigation into events surrounding the announcement of the Ocado deal, which was made to the stock market last March. Prior to the announcement, Ocado’s shares were trading at 100p-130p. The deal transformed investors’ view of the company, leading to speculation it could do deals with other supermarket chains looking to push into UK online groceries like Carrefour of France. Last night the shares were trading at nearly 520p.

Mr Coyle could not be reached, while Morrisons declined to comment. North Yorkshire Police referred calls to the FCA which also did not comment.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Techincal Accountant-Insurance-Bank-£550/day

£475 - £550 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Technical Accountant-Insuran...

Sales Performance Manager, Gloucester - £290 p/day

£200 - £290 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Sales Performance Manager, Key Ba...

Junior Database developer (SQL, T-SQL, Excel, SSRS, Crystal rep

£25000 - £30000 per annum + bonus+benefits+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...

Java/Calypso Developer

£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, ...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment