A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit in which Columbus-based Johnston Industries claimed industrial espionage routed key manufacturing and marketing secrets to textile giant Milliken & Co.

Johnston Industries claimed it lost about $30m as a result.

Details of the settlement, reached last month between the two fabric manufacturers, were withheld under a mutually agreed upon gag order.

A key player in the case said Johnston received $5m to $10m in the deal, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported in Thursday editions.

Other parts of the agreement ensure that neither side will be held in contempt of court and include promises for neither company to release one another's corporate data.

The 1998 lawsuit accused Milliken, a major competitor based in Spartanburg, S.C, which had $2bn in annual sales in 1998, of hiring private detectives and sending them to Johnston's Russell County, Ala, plant.

The two detectives were accused of obtaining Johnston's business information by posing as a banker representing Swiss investors and a Georgia State University graduate student working on a class research project.