British supermarket operator Sainsbury's on Wednesday rejected any allegations against its chief executive after the Times newspaper reported that Mike Coupe had been sentenced in absentia to two years in an Egyptian jail.
The newspaper said Coupe had been forced to attend a court hearing in Giza last Sunday in an attempt to overturn a conviction relating to embezzlement after the collapse of an Egyptian business in which Sainsbury's had invested.
"We are aware of media coverage today outlining a legal case in Egypt brought against our chief executive, Mike Coupe," Sainsbury's said in a statement.
"This relates to a historic commercial dispute in which Mike Coupe had no involvement and we strongly refute all the allegations.
"Mike Coupe was not employed by Sainsbury's at the time of the original business deal in 2001 and has never met the complainant."