According to accounts just filed at Companies House, BHS saw its pension scheme deficit rise to £139m for the year ended 30 August, from £136.6m the year before. After a £27.8m tax credit, the net deficit was £111.1m, up from £109.3m.
The pensions deficit is one of the biggest challenges facing Retail Acquisitions, which is backed by a number of investors including brokers and lawyers. Its largest shareholder – Dominic Chappell – has a chequered CV that includes bankruptcy.
Mr Ralfe warned that it would be tough for Retail Acquisitions to trim the deficit. He believes that, as at March 2015, the underlying deficit could have sunk a further £20m into the red.
He told The Independent: “The £139m pre-tax deficit at August 2014 would likely have risen to at least £160m by March – a higher value of assets will be more than offset by a higher value of pension liabilities, as long-term interest rates fall to new lows.
Not all of that £700 million is really Sir Philip’s problem, is it?
And it feels really, really, weird to be, so far as I’ve seen at least, the only person making this simple point.
What confuses me more though is, well, why isn’t Green himself telling everyone this?