Rank Group has sold its final salary pension scheme in what is believed to be the biggest transfer of pension scheme liabilities in the UK to date.
The scheme, which has assets of approximately £700m and 19,000 members, has been sold to Rothesay Life, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs. This is the first transaction of this type by Goldman Sachs’ pensions buyout team. Mercer and HSBC Actuaries were responsible for advising Rank in the buy-out process.
Peter Gill, finance director at Rank, said: “This transfer is the result of an extensive review that included consideration of several options and discussions with a number of interested parties. With the financial benefits that this transfer provides, Rank will be better placed to address its near-term challenges and grasp its long-term opportunities.”
Andy Loudiadis, chief executive of Rothesay Life, added: “The market for insurance based buy-outs of large pension schemes is developing rapidly. Companies and trustees are increasingly looking for effective solutions to transfer pension liability risk to specialist insurance providers.”