Daily Mail owner pledges £117m for group pension schemes

Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) has pledged to pay £117m into its defined benefit pension schemes, as part of its plan to dispose all of its shares in Euromoney Institutional Investor.

The owner of the Daily Mail newspaper said shareholders will receive approximately £900m, as well as £200m of cash for certain holders, including its DB pension schemes.

DMGT stated that the scheme was 96 per cent funded as at 31 March 2018, despite recording a pensions surplus of £244m on an IAS 19 basis at the end of September.

Following the cash injection the figure will now total £361m.

The group said: “Pension scheme asset and liability values are inherently volatile and fluctuate over time meaning that deficits and surpluses may emerge at future valuation dates.

“In light of the forthcoming actuarial valuation as at 31 March 2019, the chief financial officer is working with the trustees of the pension schemes to finalise these arrangements.”

According to the group, the cash distribution will leave DMGT in a net debt position of £88m on a pro forma basis.

DMGT CEO, Paul Zwillenberg, said: “The proposed distributions that we have announced today are fully aligned with our strategic priorities of increasing the focus of our portfolio and maintaining financial flexibility, whilst at the same time improving the efficiency of our balance sheet.

“In total, the distributions will result in almost £900m of assets being returned to shareholders, who will benefit from direct ownership of Euromoney while retaining exposure to a simplified DMGT Group.”

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