Sir Philip Green's BHS pensions offer 'falls £100m short'

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair talks to Sir Philip Green In October 2006

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair talks to Sir Philip Green In October 2006

Sky News revealed in August that Sir Philip was seeking an assurance that regulators would abandon their separate anti-avoidance probe into‎ BHS's pension deficit if he made a "voluntary" financial contribution to the retirement pots of thousands of the collapsed chain's former employees.

Ros Altmann, the former Pensions Minister, has questioned this morning why, when he sold BHS to Mr Chappell for £1 in March previous year, Sir Philip did not seek such a clearance notice.

The regulator added that the warning notices issued to Sir Philip Green, Taveta Investments Limited and Taveta Investments (No. 2) Limited, are different to those issued to Dominic Chappell and Retail Acquisitions Limited.

Sir Philip Green said in a statement in response: "I have read the statement from the Pensions Regulator this evening and noted its contents".

Pensions Regulator chief executive Lesley Titcomb said: "We have been clear in our public commitment to make significant progress by the end of 2016 and the issue of these notices meets that commitment".

The sale of BHS and subsequent handling of the pension scheme has come under scrutiny from MPs, with a joint enquiry by the work and pensions and business innovation and skills select committees.

Sir Philip and the other recipients of the notices will have an opportunity to reply.

Gannett gives up on tronc
Gannett said the deal no longer made financial sense, and Tronc blamed Gannett for not being able to hold onto its financiers. Ferro renamed the Chicago-based newspaper chain, formerly known as Tribune Publishing, amid the hostile takeover attempt.

The precise details of Ms Titcomb's planned statement was unclear on Wednesday, and spokesmen for both the regulator and Sir Philip declined to comment.

He said: "I have provided the regulator with what I believe to be a credible and substantial proposal, with evidence and bank confirmation of cash availability, which would prevent the scheme from entering the Pension Protection Fund".

MPs last month backed a call to strip Sir Philip of his knighthood, although the decision would have to be taken by the Honours Forfeiture Committee.

"Let's hope that, by stepping up their investigations, the Pensions Regulator will finally hold Philip Green to account and give those pensioners the security they deserve".

The PPF provides protection for those whose pensions are threatened by the BHS collapse, though their retirement incomes under the lifeboat scheme would be lower than they should have been under the original plan.

This is a written statement setting out to those contacted why the team working on the BHS situation at the Pensions Regulator believes there is a case for the regulator to pursue them for money. The case will then be passed to the regulator's determinations panel for a decision on how to proceed.

Green, whose Arcadia group owns a string of fashion chains including Topshop, sold BHS with a hole in its pension fund which had ballooned to 571 million pounds ($702 million) by the time it went into administration.