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UK roundup: HMV, Deloitte, Aon Hewitt, Lookers

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UK – The £120m (€147m) pension scheme for music retailer HMV is unlikely to see any of its outstanding £26m in claims met, according to the company’s administrators.

In a progress report sent to creditors in mid-August, Deloitte said that two of the firm’s secured creditors – music group EMI and the defined benefit (DB) scheme – should not expect to see any payment.

A spokesman for Deloitte further told IPE: “The value of the asset realisations will not be sufficient to meet the claims of the prior ranking secured creditor.

“The pension fund – which as detailed in our recent report has a subordinated claim behind the first ranking secured creditor – will not receive any payment from the administration estate in respect of their liability.”

Independent Trustee Services, the scheme’s trustee, could not be reached for comment.

The 82-year old retailer was forced to appoint an administrator in January this year after warnings that it would not be able to repay outstanding bank loans.

According to its most recent annual report, covering the pension scheme reported a deficit of £17.4m at the end of April 2012, down from over £32m the year prior.

Meanwhile, two DB pension schemes for the automotive retailer and distributor, Lookers, the Lookers Pension Plan and the Dutton-Forshaw Group Pension Plan, have appointed Aon Hewitt to provide fully integrated services.

Under the agreement, Aon Hewitt will be required to supply actuarial advice, investment consulting and pension administration, as the two schemes look to harmonise the way they are managed.

Russell Agius, partner at Aon Hewitt, said: “The challenges faced by the Lookers’ schemes are typical of many we are seeing in the market.

“Given current economic conditions, they are looking to bring together the services they need both to maintain the schemes and to get the best value for their members.”

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