Ex-Norton boss confident pension investors will be repaid in full

The ex-boss of Norton Motorcycles, Stuart Garner, said that it was “likely” that pension investors would receive all their money back following The Pension Ombudsman’s (TPO) decision.

TPO has ordered Garner to repay all the money he used from the firm’s three pension schemes to purchase preference shares in his own company.

The repayment is estimated to total around £14m.

Garner told LeicestershireLive: “It’s not appropriate to comment on the ombudsman just now.

“I would say I’ve worked with BDO who are sitting on £16m cash from [the] Norton asset sale with a further several million expected to come in from Norton property sales.

“The money is not ‘missing’. It is all in the business and its assets.

“No-one has agreed what the pension investor amount is yet. But with £16m in cash and several million of property assets to come in, it looks likely they will receive all their capital back.”

Norton Motorcycles went into administration in January 2020. It was sold out of administration to Indian motorcycle firm TVS Motor Company for £16m in April.

In its ruling, TPO stated that Garner had acted “dishonestly” and “recklessly” with the schemes’ members’ savings, also ordering him to pay each member £6,000 for the “exceptional maladministration causing injustice”.

Garner has been instructed to pay Dalriada Trustees the restorative payments, alongside 8 per cent interest, from the date of notification.

Dalriada has been told to establish and calculate from the available records, the date of investment in the shares, the amounts they relate to, any transfer payments to members and dividend payments paid under the guarantees.

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