Interserve addresses pension deficit

Support services and construction firm Interserve is to transfer its remaining interest in a portfolio of 19 PFI assets to the trustee of its pension scheme at a valuation of 55m pounds, the group announced on Wednesday.

Support services and construction firm Interserve is to transfer its remaining interest in a portfolio of 19 PFI assets to the trustee of its pension scheme at a valuation of 55m pounds, the group announced on Wednesday.

Interserve said that proposed transaction will provide a "significant contribution" towards its current pension scheme funding shortfall and will crystallise further value from its PFI investment portfolio.

The agreement is conditional upon the approval from shareholders at a meeting in January.

In 2011, the interests contributed £3.7m of profit and gross assets were valued at £3.6m at June 30th 2012.

When combined with two previous transactions in relation to its PFI portfolio (announced in June and October), the deals will have raised £124.5m in cash to reduce the actuarial deficit from £150m to £95m and reduce the annual deficit recovery payment from £23.2m to £12m per annum.

"The transaction announced today is good news for both shareholders and members of our pension scheme," said Chief Executive Officer Adrian Ringrose.

"Through a series of transactions during 2012 we have realised significant latent value in our PFI portfolio and with today's announcement are proposing to bolster our pension position. The conclusion of our triennial pension funding review, of which this transaction is an integral part, balances the interests of our pension scheme with our ambition to make further progress against our strategic growth plans."

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