LONDON — Sir Philip Green is paying £363 million to rescue the BHS pension scheme.
He called it “a voluntary contribution” after “lengthy, complex discussions with the Pensions Regulator and the PPF [Pension Protection Fund], both of which are satisfied with the solution that has been offered.”
“Once again I would like to apologise to the BHS pensioners for this last year of uncertainty, which was clearly never the intention when the business was sold in March 2015.
“I am also happy to confirm that any of the pensioners that have faced cuts over the last year will now be brought back to their original BHS starting level pension and will all be made whole.
“I hope that this solution puts their minds at rest and closes this sorry chapter for them,” said Green.
The UK’s pensions regulator started an enforcement action against the retail tycoon last year. The regulator sent notices of more than 300 pages each to Green, his investment companies and former BHS boss Dominic Chappell.
Sir Philip Green bought BHS in 2000 for £200 million ($US244.9 million) and his family took more than £300 million in dividends out of the business shortly afterward. He sold it for £1 in 2015 and the department store collapsed into administration in April of this year. BHS had been struggling for years and a government report into its collapse blamed under-investment and excessive dividend payouts for sending it into a downward spiral.
Around 50 MPs last month unanimously backed a motion in UK parliament calling for Sir Philip Green to be stripped on his knighthood in the wake of the collapse.
He was criticised for holidaying on his luxury superyacht in Greece while the estimated £275 million black hole in the BHS pension fund remained unresolved.