4 May 2021: Argyll opens Leeds office

17 Jun 2020: TPR updates Contribution Deferral guidance

5 Aug 2019: TPR's tougher stance on recovery plans

7 Mar 2019: TPR’s Annual Funding Statement a game-changer

7 Dec 2018: DWP publishes superfund consultation

26 Jun 2017: TPR agrees settlement with Coats

30 Apr 2017: PM promises TPR M&A powers

28 Feb 2017: TPR agrees settlement with Sir Philip Green

9 Nov 2016: Brexit so far

8 Nov 2016: BHS ripple effect

2 Nov 2016: Sir Philip Green sent warning notice

1 Nov 2016: Argyll Financial becomes Argyll Covenant

3 Oct 2016: Tata Steel update

2 Jun 2016: BHS to be liquidated

29 Mar 2016: Tata plans sale of UK Steel

3 Sep 2015: TPR takes dim view of late valuations

13 Aug 2015: New TPR covenant guidance

28 May 2015: Contribution notice in Carrington Wire case

22 Dec 2014: Third warning notice for Guinness Peat

18 Dec 2014: New PPF rules for Asset-Backed Contributions

19 Aug 2014: TPR announces Lehman Brothers settlement

10 Jun 2014: TPR publishes revised funding code

27 Mar 2014: EC postpones holistic balance sheet

20 Mar 2014: PPF announces new insolvency risk model

17 Mar 2014: PPF guarantees harder to certify

7 Feb 2014: Argyll Financial submits consultation response

2 Dec 2013: Regulator publishes new draft funding code

19 Nov 2013: Asset-backed contributions guidance from TPR

22 Oct 2013: FSD warning helps MF Global scheme buyout

10 Sep 2013: TPR supportive of Kodak restructuring

31 Jul 2013: Schneider Electric acquires Invensys for £3.4bn

24 Jul 2013: Supreme Court overturns FSD super-priority

8 May 2013: Support for employers in TPR's Statement

3 Oct 2016: Tata Steel update
7 months on from Tata's announcement that it wanted a quick sale of its UK operations (see here) a deal has yet to emerge.  This is likely to be due in part to the price of steel which has been rising and apparently reduced pressure on Tata to sell.

In May, up to 7 bidders were reported to be in the running.  However in July the sale process seemed to be on hold with focus on just one bidder, German rival ThyssenKrupp, which was exploring a merger of its European steel operations with Tata.  In the UK there are concerns that such a merger might not save the UK operations and in particular the key UK steel-making plant in Port Talbot.

The Government has been trying to support a sale by offering hundreds of millions of pounds of loans and potentially taking a 25% stake in the business.  It has been trying to lower the pension deficit (now around £700m) by consulting on special legislation to reduce benefits for the 130,000 members.  This appears unlikely to move forward however due to concerns in Parliament about setting a precedent. 

Until a firm deal emerges there is ongoing uncertainty for employees of Tata Steel in the UK and for the pension scheme.

Argyll comment:  at the moment there is little visibility over a deal.  A tie-up with ThyssenKrupp may do little to help the UK pension scheme.  There are however bidders who have expressed an interest in the UK business including the pension scheme, such as management buyout entity Excalibur, chaired by a Tata Steel UK exec.  Such a deal might do more to offer a long term covenant to the scheme


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