Telecommunications giant Cable & Wireless (C&W) is suing five ex-employees of its Isle of Man-based insurance division Pender Insurance to recover £25m of "secret profit".

According to a C&W spokesman, this alleged 'profit' involved "undisclosed related party transactions" over a period of four years. But he declined to comment on the specific details of the transactions involved.

The former Pender employees have been named as Christopher Valentine,

Philip Wright, Catherine Devitt, Alexander Fenn and Fiona Ball.

C&W said in a statement: "Management do not believe that this action will result in any financial loss to the group. As stated in the group's annual accounts, Pender began running off its old insurance claims and has not taken on any new business."

C&W set up its Isle of Man-based insurance division in 1990, to provide insurance for the group against losses incurred as a result of damage to its undersea cables and other equipment. It later expanded to write third party business, including employers' liability and D&O policies.