Pensions Regulator boss to be questioned over Arcadia deal

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Arcadia watchdog
// The Pensions Regulator CEO Charles Counsell to be questioned over deal with Arcadia
// The watchdog acted as a supporter at Arcadia’s CVA earlier this month
// Arcadia’s pension black hole is around £560m
// Counsell to be questioned on June 26

The Pensions Regulator chief executive Charles Counsell is set to be questioned by the Work and Pensions Committee over a deal with Arcadia tycoon Sir Philip Green.

The watchdog acted as a supporter of Arcadia’s CVA, which was approved in a creditor vote meeting earlier this month, in exchange for Green investing £25 million into Arcadia’s person fund, on top of a promised £50 million investment.

Counsell’s support of Arcadia’s CVA played a part in garnering the 75 per cent creditor support it needed at the creditors’ vote.

Arcadia’s pension black hole is estimated to be around £560 million.

“Leonard Green, who bought a quarter of Arcadia when they thought things were going okay, sold it back to Philip Green for a buck,” Work and Pensions Committee chair Frank Field told City AM.

“That is obviously saying these assets are worthless, so why did the regulator think differently from Leonard Green?”

Leonard Green bought a 25 per cent stake in Topshop for £350 million in 2012, and sold it back to Green for $1 (76p).

Field, who is a long-time critic of Green, has previously clashed with the tycoon over the former’s dealings with BHS after he sold it for £1 to Dominic Chappell.

Counsell will appear in front of the committee on June 26.

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