Agfa UK completes £230 million bulk annuity deal

Analogue and digital imaging systems producer Agfa UK has completed a £230 million bulk purchase annuity transaction with Phoenix Group, covering 70% of the scheme’s pensioner liabilities.

The buy-in is the first bulk annuity undertaken by the scheme. As part of the trustee’s long-term de-risking strategy, additional funding support which facilitated a pensioner buy-in was provided, increasing the long-term security of all 1,700 members’ benefits.

Tom Clark, chair of the trustee at Agfa UK Group Pension Plan, expressed his delight on behalf of the team at having been supported by the group’s advisers, Hymans Robertson, in enabling a buy-in agreement to be reached with chosen provider Phoenix Life. According to Clark, the partnership with Phoenix will allow Agfa UK to take the next step in its de-risking strategy.

Rhian Littlewood, Phoenix Group’s senior bulk purchase annuities (BPA) business development manager, said that the transaction is in line with the company’s ambition to become a market leading BPA franchise, with a continued focus on value not volume.

“We knew that completing the transaction quickly was a key priority for the trustee and Agfa, and our agile and pragmatic response ensured that we were able to deliver a transaction within days. Our business process automation is underpinned by our sustainability agenda and is aligned to our commitment to use our investments to help build back better and greener and to have a positive impact on society and the real economy,” she explained.

The lead advisers to the trustee for the transaction were from Hymans Robertson, with partner and head of risk transfer solutions James Mullins adding that this period has seen an “excellent” improvement in the plan’s funding level, which is now in a solid financial position.