Wolverhampton & Dudley plugs pension deficit after refinancing

The brewer of Banks’ Original and Mansfield Bitter ales, Wolverhampton &
Dudley, has reduced its pension deficit under FRS17 with a one-off £29m
contribution to its final salary scheme.

The FTSE250 group was able to make the contribution after refinancing debt by
replacing existing debentures and bank debt with a new £250m bank facility and a
£805m securitisation.

‘The new financing structure provides greater flexibility for acquisitions,
increases the average maturity of the group’s debt and also reduces the cash
cost of debt by some £5 million per year,’ the pub operator said in a trading
statement before it entered its close period.

The combined effect of the refinancing and pension contribution is expected
to reduce interest charged in the profit and loss account by £1.5m per year.

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