The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Uniq abandons bid talks due to pension worries

UK food company Uniq has terminated bid talks with a private equity player over fears that a highly leveraged takeover would jeopardize the company's pension fund. The company said the main reason for terminating talks was "the leveraged nature of the potential bidder's proposed capital structure and its impact on the pension position."

The trustees reportedly feared that being taken over by a heavily borrowed bid vehicle would mean that, in the case of insolvency, the pension fund members would lose their pensions.

"The company has concluded that the latest proposal from the remaining party did not provide an acceptable basis for the company and the pension trustee to continue discussions," the company said.

Uniq's pension fund has a deficit of £102.3 million ($196.5 million). The company has said that from next month it will start increasing contributions from £8.4 million to £15 million per annum.

Another deal that was stalled by pension trustee anxiety was European private equity firm Permira's aborted £940 million takeover of UK retailer WH Smith in June 2004. WH Smith's pension fund trustees demanded Permira pay at least £100 million to plug the company's pension deficit, valued at between £200 and £250 million.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree