Farepak millionaire boss gains in sale of businesses

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The Independent Online

One of the millionaire businessmen running the Farepak hamper company which has crashed, depriving 140,000 people of Christmas savings totalling £40m, is being paid as a consultant by a firm that has bought other parts of his group out of receivership.

William Rollason is being paid on an ad-hoc basis by Findel plc, which bought three parts of Farepak's parent company, European Home Retail (EHR), from receivers. A senior executive at Findel was unwilling yesterday to disclose the salary Mr Rollason is collecting for his work at EHR's former Kleneze business, in Bristol, which the firm has bought. "We have picked up three businesses and we are paying him on a daily basis to help us integrate them," he said.

It has emerged that Mr Rollason had cancelled EHR's membership of the trade organisation which would have compensated Farepak customers. EHR left the Direct Selling Association (DSA) in 2004 after it added a clause compelling members to insure customers against disasters like the one Farepak has experienced. "The company decided that the insurance was too much of a cost to take on," Richard Berry, director of the DSA, said yesterday. "I've never looked in to what the cost actually might have been for them but, of course, I was disappointed."

Mr Rollason could not be reached for comment, nor could Farepak's chairman Sir Clive Thompson and managing director Nick Gilodi-Johnson.

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