A watchdog says Philip Green sold BHS for £1 to dodge liability for its huge pension fund

LONDON — Sir Philip Green was forced to pay £363 million into BHS’s pension scheme after the Pension Regulator found the main reason behind his sale of the high-street chain was to prevent taking liability for the scheme.

The watchdog on Tuesday published its report into the row which eventually saw Green pushed into paying back a large chunk of the pension deficit, which was assessed at up to £571 million when BHS collapsed into administration in April 2016.

Less than a year before the collapse, which resulted in the loss of 11,000 jobs, Green sold the business for £1 to Dominic Chappell, a formerly bankrupt businessman with no experience in the retail sector.

The report says that “the main purpose of the sale of BHS was to postpone BHS’s insolvency to prevent a liability to the schemes falling due while it was part of the Taveta group of companies ultimately owned by the Green family, and/or that the effect of the sale was materially detrimental to the schemes.”

After months of legal wrangling, a parliamentary inquiry, and negotiations with the pensions regulator, Green eventually agreed to pay into the scheme on a voluntary basis.

The report says that the scheme has run a £100 million surplus since Green’s payment.

A spokesman for Green said: “This is the first and possibly the only time that a private individual, who has not been found to have done anything wrong, has voluntarily rescued a pension scheme. The matter is now closed.”

NOW WATCH: JIM ROGERS: The Fed is clueless and is setting us up for disaster

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.