A team of experts from the international law firm Gowling WLG has advised the trustee of the McColl's Pension Schemes on a 'scheme rescue' by Wm Morrisons Supermarkets Group.
The rescue, which comes after Morrisons purchased the assets of the McColl's Retail Group via a pre-pack administration on May 9, means that the schemes have now formally exited their Pension Protection Fund assessment periods.
Under the terms of the transaction, Alliance Property Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Morrisons that now trades as McColl's, has become the new sponsoring employer of the two schemes, taking full financial responsibility for members'; benefits. The schemes' 2,000 members also now benefit from funding guarantees extended by the Morrisons group.
The trustee, chaired by Rachel Croft, representing professional trustee firm Independent Trustee Services, will continue to oversee the operations of the schemes.
The team from Gowling WLG that advised the trustee was led by pensions partner Jason Coates and restructuring & insolvency partner Jasvir Jootla. The team comprised Ben Long, Eley Lamb, and Pooja Gabbani, all from the firm's pensions team. Finance support was provided by Dan O'Donnell.
Commenting, Jason Coates said:
"We are delighted to have played a part in helping the trustee facilitate the rescue of these schemes and ensure the best possible outcome for all members in difficult circumstances."