We use cookies to support features like login and allow trusted media partners to analyse aggregated site usage.
To dismiss this message and allow cookies to be used, please click "Continue".



Twitter board

Follow us
  • Friday View: Piecing together the pooling puzzle- DGF Roundtable - Royal Mail names pensions boss -LGPS Central sel… https://t.co/DPfZ3WUv6K2 days ago
  • portfolio institutional is launching a new series on LGPS pooling, tracking changes to investment strategies and up… https://t.co/Ld04PZ2TNK4 days ago
  • Friday View: ESG: What lies beneath? - Industry backs DWP's ESG push - LGPS Central CEO to step down - Railpen hire… https://t.co/S3knBieob09 days ago
  • Out now- The portfolio institutional September issue feat our cover on ESG: What lies beneath? -Interview: Railpe… https://t.co/x9EYxDVXEl13 days ago
  • Friday View: LGPS pool appoints CIO - Jack Dromey on cost reporting - TPR hires former FCA director - NEST issues p… https://t.co/aNVGQqK35Z16 days ago
  • RT @AonRetirementUK: How prepared is your portfolio? Read a write-up of the discussions at our recent event with @portfolio_inst, along wit…18 days ago
  • "Shadow pensions minister Jack Dromey comments on the need to set compulsory standards for cost reporting." Read m… https://t.co/vH1gGZBm1q18 days ago
  • "Border to Coast, a recently launched £46bn public sector pension pool, has appointed Daniel Booth as its chief inv… https://t.co/AlIwikhgli19 days ago
  • Friday View: Spike in shareholder rebellions - Investors ditch GBP funds - Access launches first  pooled fund - GAM… https://t.co/aFzvBWgsmp23 days ago
  • Join us and HarbourVest Partners for breakfast to discover how access to private companies can provide diversificat… https://t.co/JaRlWiziJl23 days ago
  • "Ian Scott tells Mark Dunne about being back on the buy side, hedge funds, self-sufficiency, the trouble with infra… https://t.co/G0UUF9ldSx24 days ago
  • "Aon has developed an ESG rating system for buy-rated investment strategies which is designed to assess whether and… https://t.co/mstoAc3vr325 days ago
  • "With hedge fund performance improving and pension scheme investment increasing, has more institutional backing res… https://t.co/JVcIEXXKwr30 days ago
  • "The infrastructure repair bill is huge and more and more pension funds are willing to step in and plug the funding… https://t.co/zXy2lbpj6K31 days ago
  • "For investors looking to own sustainable businesses, engagement is the new divestment." Read more here:… https://t.co/YiA28qc6BI32 days ago
  • "Thanks to climate change, pension scheme portfolios are in danger of overheating. So what are trustees doing to pr… https://t.co/8gND4lC1OZ33 days ago
  • RT @eVestment: With research claiming that companies with high #ESG standards make better #investments, are sustainable strategies on the v…37 days ago
  • "The revolution in how investors are assessing companies is gaining momentum. No longer considered niche, responsib… https://t.co/uFCHnMlOux37 days ago
  • Friday View: Beyond bonds: The future of LDI - Responsible investing: Just reward - Just buys DB adviser - Ex Railp… https://t.co/1suOFFSprA37 days ago
  • "An increasing number of pension schemes are adopting a more efficient way of investing." Read more in our in-dept… https://t.co/F6Y0e9DB5E37 days ago


Johnston Press confirms talks to offload pension scheme

Johnston Press confirms talks to offload pension scheme

Mona Dohle
Wednesday 6th June 2018

Scottish publishing house Johnston Press has confirmed negotiations to reach a Regulated Apportionment Arrangement (RAA), in a bid to offload its pension scheme to the Pension Protection Fund.

The Edinburgh-based publisher, which owns more than 200 regional newspapers in England, Scotland and Ireland, has responded to media reports that it was in debt restructuring talks with US hedge fund GoldenTree, which currently owns the majority of its £220m senior secured bonds, due to mature on 1 June next year.

A Telegraph report earlier this week suggests that Johnston Press would not be able to repay these bonds and could therefore fall under the control of the hedge fund, which in turn would involve an RAA deal to offload its pension scheme to the Pension Protection Fund, the lifeboat for UK pension schemes.

A spokesperson for Johnston implicitly acknowledged the talks, stating that: “the expectation reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that the expectations will prove to have been correct.”

With regard to the RAA deal, he confirmed that and RAA was “one of a number of potential strategic options for restructuring or refinancing of the bond being considered by the company and its advisers.”

RAA deals are subject to regulatory approval by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Pension Protection Fund. Sing-offs for these agreements tend to be very rare. Over the last year, only two RAA deals were confirmed by the TPR.

A spokesperson for TPR stated that any approval of an RAA would be subject to a number of stringent conditions. Among others, the regulator will consider whether insolvency of the employer would be otherwise inevitable or whether there could be other solutions which would avoid insolvency.

The regulator will also consider whether an insolvency could result in a better outcome for the scheme or whether the regulator might need to use its anti-avoidance powers in order to enforce a better outcome for the scheme.

A spokesperson for the PPF responded to the reports by stating: “We can’t comment on the circumstances of this company. In the event of an insolvency event at a company with an eligible pension scheme, members can be reassured that we are there to protect them.”

Shares for Johnston Press, dropped by 16% on Tuesday and a further 15% on Wednesday, as the group issued profit warnings over the impact of growing paper costs and the prospect of GDPR hitting its advertising revenue.


Leave your comment

View our comments policy

Please login or register with us to leave a comment. It's completely free!