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M&S says trustees must decide on Green request

UK – Retailer Marks & Spencer says the trustees of its pension scheme must decide for themselves how to respond to tycoon Philip Green’s request for information on pension funding that forms part of his takeover proposal.

“The Board of Marks & Spencer notes the announcement made earlier today by Revival Acquisitions Ltd. requesting information on the funding plan of the Marks & Spencer pension fund,” M&S said, referring to Green’s bid vehicle.

“In the light of Revival's statement, the board of Marks & Spencer would like to reiterate that they rejected Revival's proposal of not less than 370p per share made on 16 June 2004 because they believe it significantly undervalued the Group and its prospects.

“It has, therefore, not provided any of the information requested by Revival.” The statement said that relevant information is provided in its annual report.

It added: “Revival has now made contact with the Trustees and it is for them to decide on their response to Revival's requests.”

Revival said: “Earlier in the year, M&S injected 400 million pounds into its UK defined benefit pension scheme.”

It added: “Since the remaining time for Revival to make its preparations for any further potential proposal has now been limited at the request of M&S, if M&S agreed a future funding plan at the time when the funds were injected or since, Revival believes it should be disclosed now.”

“Any meeting with the pension trustees will seek to build on this disclosure.”

The UK’s Takeover Panel has ruled that Revival must make an offer by August 6.

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