International law firm CMS has advised the pension scheme trustee for global technology company, Atos, on the significant merger of three existing schemes into a new £1bn pension scheme and new funding arrangements.
The 18-month process required close collaboration between various teams who advised on contribution deferral arrangements, bank guarantees, a parent company guarantee, complex funding arrangements routed via Scottish limited partnerships and investment transition. Unusually, part of the deal also included a £198m upfront cash contribution to the new merged scheme by way of acquisition and subsequent sale of shares in a French Listed Company through another Scottish Limited Partnership.
The CMS team was led by Pensions partner Kate Richards and included a large cross-practice team including: Chris Ransom, Simon Evans, Richard Gibson, Elaine He, Alexander Waters, Tasmin Patel, Megan Davies, Alex Nicklin and Angus Maudslay (Pensions); David Day, Riz Rahman and Julia Czaplinska-Pakowska (Corporate); Alasdair Steele (Equity Capital Markets); Andrew McLean (Real Estate Finance); Colin Lawrie, Piotr Klaskala, Matt Nortcliff, Karl Bradford and Nicole Chua (FIRA); and Ash Saluja, Pippa Tasker, Tom Callaby, Nicholas Cottrell, and Lindsay Concannon (Financial Services).
Kate Richards comments: “We are delighted to have supported our longstanding client on this landmark matter. Drawing on our market-leading expertise across Pensions, Corporate, Real Estate, Funds and Financial Services, we were able to deliver a single port-of-call to the Atos trustee and complete this complicated transaction within our client’s tight timescales.”
Chris Martin of Independent Trustee Services Limited, trustee of the scheme said “ We are delighted to have concluded the successful scheme merger and to have significantly improved the security of members’ benefits. The complexity of this particularly merger goes some way beyond similar processes we have been involved with. Working with a team of the strength, depth and quality of CMS was absolutely critical to delivering a successful conclusion for all stakeholders. And it was fun too!”.