Update re Pensions Investigations

RNS Number : 1786W
Guinness Peat Group PLC
22 December 2013



('GPG' or the 'Company')




GPG outlined in the Market Update released on 2 December 2013 and the Interim Management Statement published on 15 November 2013 that any Warning Notices in respect of the Brunel Holdings Pension Scheme and the Staveley Industries Retirement Benefits Scheme (together the 'Schemes') were expected to be received before the end of the year.  GPG has now received Warning Notices relating to these Schemes from the UK Pensions Regulator ('tPR').

The Warning Notices set out tPR's case team's view that it may be reasonable for the Determinations Panel of tPR to issue a Financial Support Direction ('FSD') against specified targets, namely the Company and GPG (UK) Holdings plc in respect of the Brunel Scheme and against the Company, GPG (UK) Holdings plc, Staveley Services Limited and Staveley Industries plc in respect of the Staveley Scheme.

The Board is reviewing the Warning Notices with its advisers.  The targets will have the opportunity to make written submissions to tPR so that the case team may consider whether to proceed or not with its submission that the Determinations Panel issue FSDs.

It is too early to be certain that any FSDs will ultimately be issued or of the quantum of any required support for the Schemes.  Whether it is reasonable to issue an FSD will be independently considered by the Determinations Panel of tPR and, if an FSD is issued by the Determinations Panel, the matter may be fully reconsidered by the Upper Tribunal.

Any hearing before the Determinations Panel is unlikely to take place earlier than the second half of 2014.  In the interim the Company continues to engage constructively with the trustees of the Schemes.

As indicated in the 2 December 2013 Market Update, tPR has advised that it will not be in a position to conclude its investigation and decide on whether or not to issue a Warning Notice in relation to the Coats Pension Plan before 31 December 2013, but is looking to do so as soon as practicable.


Chris Healy
Company Secretary
Guinness Peat Group plc

23 December 2013


Enquiry details are:

New Zealand and Australian media:                      Geoff Senescall on:                   +64 9 309 5659

UK media:                                                          Kevin Smith on:                     +44 20 7282 1054



An FSD is a direction that would require financial support (which is not necessarily a cash contribution) to be put in place for a pension scheme.  Where the sponsoring employer is 'insufficiently resourced', an FSD can only be issued by the Determinations Panel of tPR if it is reasonable to do so.

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Coats Group (COA)
UK 100

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