Mergers, acquisitions and divestitures
Pensions can have a large influence on corporate transactions. Aon has a team of specialists who focus on supporting trustees, sponsors and acquirers through the transaction process, from transaction planning to post-deal integration. We work closely with colleagues across the firm, providing integrated services.
As one of the largest pensions advisory businesses in the UK, we bring unparrelled knowledge and insight into a rapidly evolving landscape where regulatory and media scrutiny is at an all-time high.
We work on all types of transactions from small internal restructurings to large multi-country transactions, helping clients assess pension cost, mitigate pension risk and structure deals optimally.
Pension matters in a transaction can be high risk and high profile from a financial perspective. Pension underfunding can be a major pricing issue, costs may be volatile and subject to rapid and material change, complex rules govern the trigger of statutory payments to UK pension schemes and regulators (including the UK pension regulator) may seek financial mitigation.
Not only that but the significance of pensions as one of employees’ most valuable benefits and most significant lifetime savings often make pension matters a significant employee relations and reputational matter in transactions.
Our specialists support our scheme actuaries in advising trustees both through corporate events and in readiness planning for the future within the Integrated Risk Management framework.
Corporate transactions, including business sales, takeovers and acquisitions remain a major risk for UK pension schemes and one that is often under-appreciated, under-analysed and insufficiently mitigated. Large scale corporate activity can lead to significant change in a pension scheme’s sponsor and can be a direct or indirect cause of covenant leakage, corporate insolvency/collapse and scheme failure. However, major corporate change can also represent an opportunity for many schemes to secure additional funding or strengthen the covenant. We firmly believe that a combination of good preparation and robust, rapid reaction leads to the best outcomes for pension schemes and their members when faced with a transaction.
We have developed and delivered an extensive suite of preparatory materials ranging from; training focused on the potential impact of corporate change, rapid-reaction plans and transaction “war games”. This complimented by our teams of experienced transactions specialists across actuarial, covenant and investment who are on hand to help our trustees react rapidly and robustly in the fast-moving environment of a live transaction.
We can offer support through all stages of a deal process.
- Sale readiness – aligning pensions strategy with business strategy in preparation for sale or exit, preparation of vendor due diligence, minimising price impacts.
- Due diligence – identifying and evaluating key pensions risks, in many cases we work closely with our benefits and insurance team to provide comprehensive due diligence on benefits and insurances.
- Transaction execution –supporting high-value negotiations with all stakeholders including trustees, sellers, acquirers and The Pensions Regulator as well as developing and executing on separation/integration plans.
- Post transaction implementation – implementing new pensions and benefit structures, promoting key transaction objectives such as scheme carve outs, synergy capture, integration, ongoing risk mitigation and cost reduction.
Aon Solutions UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.