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Pension Corp demands Telent trustees' exit

UK - Pensions Insurance Corporation (PIC) has threatened to lapse its offer on telecoms group Telent, unless the regulator removes the independent trustees it appointed to Telent's £3bn (€4.3bn) pension fund last month.

Co-Investment No.5 LP Incorporated (CILP), a division of  Edmund Truell's pensions buyout firm, said in a statement today: "Following a hearing of the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator which took place on Wednesday 7 November 2007, CILP notes that the Determinations Panel has confirmed its order to appoint three trustees of Telent's UK pension scheme."

The firm added: CILP announced on 31 October 2007 that CILP and Telent had agreed with the Panel Executive that the actions of the Pensions Regulator in exercising its statutory powers to appoint three trustees of Telent's UK pension scheme constituted a breach of the condition in paragraph (k) of Part A of Appendix I to the Offer Document and that, in the circumstances, that breach may be invoked by CILP to lapse the Offer."

According to the firm, it is now seeking a resolution "in a manner satisfactory to CILP", though a spokesman declined to specify CILP's desired resolution.

However, if no resolution has been achieved on or before November 28, CILP will allow the offer to lapse.

CILP announced yesterday the offer will remain open until 1pm London time on November 21.

In September, the firm agreed a 600p a share deal with Telents's management, for what is essentially a shell supporting the old General Electric Corporation pension fund.

Over the past few weeks, CILP twice secured a seven-day extension to its bid to acquire Telent and its pension scheme, after the UK's Pension Regulator intervened in the deal by appointing three independent trustees to the scheme - a move made after the pension fund trustees had raised concerns with TPR about the possible takeover.

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