Restructuring / M&A

Pensions-related issues can be one of the biggest obstacles to a company carrying out the corporate restructuring, acquisitions or disposals that are needed as part of its overall business strategy. Not only are the issues more complex, but the regulatory framework is arguably more challenging to navigate than at any previous time.

However, as long as the pensions issues are identified early and appropriate mitigation strategies are developed, we believe that a company should still be able to achieve its strategic goals.

We have many years of experience of delivering M&A and corporate restructuring projects, having led on some multi-billion pound transactions in recent years. We will work with you to:

  • identify your objectives
  • carry out a risk analysis and identify barriers to success
  • set out the mitigation options
  • develop and support your negotiation strategy with all the relevant parties
  • guide you through the regulatory requirements and, where relevant, support you in regulatory discussions.

A strong overseas parent wanted to restructure its UK operations, involving changing the principal employer of the main UK defined benefit plan. In light of the trustees’ powers and the Pensions Regulator’s scrutiny, we needed to do the following:

  • work with the covenant adviser to analyse the impact on the support available to the scheme as a result of the proposals
  • consider how the trustees and TPR would react to the proposals
  • develop an appropriate mitigation package
  • draft a carefully thought through communication package to help walk the trustees and TPR through the proposals.

As the mitigation package involved multiple tiers of financial support across different countries, the process of working through the proposals with the trustees and TPR happened over a number of meetings, before all parties were happy.

The key to success was careful planning and ensuring the client saw the issues through the eyes of the trustees and their duties.

25 September 2020

In the news this week, the CMI asks for industry views on how to allow for 2020’s mortality experience, the DWP launches a small pots working group, the autumn Budget is abandoned but the Chancellor announces new measures to help businesses, the Barclays scheme subscribes to a Barclays bond and there is another repeat buy-in.

Endgame planning

Journey plans or glide paths may have been around for a long time but they’re at the heart of the Regulator’s proposed new funding code. In this Pensions Perspective, Leonard Bowman looks at how long-term funding and investment plans are evolving and explains why companies are increasingly taking the lead in designing an endgame strategy for their schemes.

Pensions Arena July 2020

This quarter’s Arena has a summary of our recent Pensions Perspective, “Emerging from lockdown”, which looked at how best to tackle the most common pension issues which companies are currently facing. It also shows all the usual financial and investment analysis for the quarter ending 30 June 2020.

Emerging from lockdown

As we keep hearing, we are living in unprecedented times. However, as we turn our attention to the future, what does the “new normal” mean for defined benefit pension schemes? In this Pensions Perspective, Leonard Bowman considers the most common pension issues that companies are facing and how best to ensure that the company approaches these on the front foot.

Getting buyout ready

Covid-19 has created many challenges for DB schemes but, for those ready to transact in 2020, it may have created even more favourable market conditions for a buyout. The problem is that most schemes are not there yet. In this Briefing we look at what being “deal ready” actually means and what work it will involve.