Rank moots sale of pension fund

Rank Group, the owner of Mecca Bingo, is considering selling its £700m pensions fund.

Mercer Human Resource Consulting, the pension fund’s long standing actuarial and investment adviser is understood to be looking at the possibility of holding an auction among firms that specialise in pensions buyouts, such as †Legal &†General, Prudential, Paternoster and Goldman Sachs. Mercer has put in place an online auction process that enables clients to secure a pension scheme buyout agreement.

A spokeswoman from Rank refused to confirm newspaper reports that it had decided to sell the pension fund. She said: “There are no firm plans to transfer Rank’s pension fund. We told the market a while ago that we are interested in ways of better securing the benefits and that remains the case but there is nothing further to report.”

The fund’s assets were valued at £711m and its liabilities at £635m, as at 31 December 2006. The scheme has been closed to new members for a number of years and has few active members.