NIG Skandia hit out at leading white-collar union MSF this week after the union decided to withdraw criticism of the insurer's handling of its Hibernian UK takeover last year.

The allegations, which were due to be heard at an Employment Tribunal last Monday, claimed that NIG Skandia failed to consult Hibernian staff as required under TUPE legislation, but the union backtracked just days before the hearing.

John Carrier, who is managing director of NIG Skandia, said: "We were shocked and disappointed when MSF made these allegations against us as we had been very careful to ensure that we consulted fully with representatives of the employees of NIG Skandia and Hibernian UK.

"As a company that values its staff highly, we took great care and professional advice to ensure that we were scrupulously fair to all employees throughout the acquisition process."

"We fail to see what MSF were hoping to achieve by taking this action as it was quite clear that there was no case to answer. The action has resulted in us incurring significant and unnecessary legal and management costs, resources that we could have put to much better use in the business."

MSF was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.