Embattled department store chain Debenhams is reportedly in talks over the buyout of its executive pension scheme, which holds over £200m in assets.
According to Sky News, Debenhams is closing in on a deal with insurance company Aviva that, if completed, will guarantee future benefits to members of the senior pension scheme.
However, the deal could be seen to be controversial as it does not include the company’s main pension scheme that covers the majority of its staff. Instead, sources reportedly told Sky that trustees of the main scheme are seeking to strike a deal with a consolidation vehicle.
The news comes after the department store announced the closure of 19 of its stores last week.
Debenhams went under the control of its lenders when it entered a pre-pack administration in April last year. Debenhams Group Holdings Limited, its subsidiaries and certain dormant companies, which together make up the Debenhams Group, have since been transferred to the ownership of Celine UK NewCo 1 Ltd.
Debenhams has been contacted for comment.