GERMANY – Pharmaceuticals firm Sanofi-Aventis has clarified that a reported €1.5bn cash transfer to its German pension fund was made two years ago and that no further transfers are planned.

On Friday, IPE cited a report in the business daily Handelsblatt saying Sanofi-Aventis had recently made the transfer to the fund as part of a plan to fully finance group-wide pension liabilities. The fund is called Aventis Pensionstreuhand.

But Wolfgang Weber, head of investments at Aventis Pensionstreuhand, told IPE from Paris this morning that the transfer had been made in December 2003 and not as IPE reported, recently.

“There have been no recent transfers and none are planned,” Weber said.

Aventis Pensionstreuhand’s assets currently total €2.1bn. The German pension liabilities for the Franco-German group are between €2.5-€3bn.

According to trade book International Pension Funds and their Advisors, Aventis Pensionstreuhand has an estimated 10,000 contributing employees in Germany and 45,000 pensioners. The fund relocated to Paris from Munich following the 2004 takeover of German pharmaceutical company Aventis by its smaller French peer Sanofi.

Last October, Aventis Pensionstreuhand awarded State Street Global Advisors with a mandate to shield €800m worth of assets from currency-related risks and to generate additional returns with them. State Street’s German custodial arm also provides back-office services for the pension fund.