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NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / May 11, 2017 / The following statement is being issued by Levi & Korsinsky, LLP: To: All persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired shares of Walter Investment Management Corp. ("Walter Investment") (NYSE: WAC) between May 3, 2016 and March 13, 2017 . You are hereby notified that Levi & Korsinsky has commenced the class action Petrovets v. Walter Investment Management Corp., et al. (Case No. 8:17-cv-00695-RAL-AEP) in the USDC for the Middle District of Florida. Click here to view the complaint. To get more information, go to: http://www.zlk.com/pslra/walter-investment?wire=1, or contact Joseph E. Levi, Esq. either via email at [email protected] or by telephone at (212) 363-7500, toll-free: (877) 363-5972. There is no cost or obligation to you. The complaint alleges that, throughout the class period, Walter Investment made materially false and misleading statements about its financial condition, largely because: (1) the Company was involved in fraudulent practices that violated the False Claims Act; (2) the Company's Ditech subsidiary had a material weakness in its internal control over operational processes; and (3) resultantly, the Company lacked adequate internal controls over financial reporting. Take Action: if you suffered a loss in Walter Investment, you have until to request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. Your ability to share in any recovery doesn't require that you serve as a lead plaintiff. Levi & Korsinsky is a national firm with offices in New York, California, Connecticut, and Washington D.C. The firm's attorneys have extensive expertise and experience representing investors in securities litigation, and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for aggrieved shareholders. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.


PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Regulatory News: RALLYE (Paris:RAL) : Place de cotation :   Euronext Paris Compartiment : Eurolist B Code : ISIN : FR0000060618 Date   Nombre total d’actionscomposant le capital social   Nombre total de droits de vote 30 avril 2017   48 831 113   Total brut de droits de vote : 76 880 240     Total net* de droits de vote : 76 880 240 *Total net : nombre total de droits de vote attachés au nombre total d’actions – actions privées de droits de vote Présence dans les statuts


News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

HAWTHORNE, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CCOM Group, Inc. (“CCOM”) (OTC Pink: “CCOM,” “CCOMP”), announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 compared to results for the same period in 2016: CCOM Group, Inc. (“CCOM”) distributes heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment (HVAC), parts and accessories, whole-house generators, climate control systems, and plumbing and electrical fixtures and supplies, primarily in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and portions of eastern Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Vermont through its subsidiaries: Universal Supply Group, Inc., www.usginc.com, The RAL Supply Group, Inc., www.ralsupply.com, and S&A Supply, Inc., www.sasupplyinc.com. CCOM is headquartered in New Jersey, and, with its affiliates, operates out of 17 locations in its geographic trading area. For more information on CCOM’s operations, products and/or services, please visit www.ccomgrp.com.


News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.prlog.org

-- Common applications for digital printing include labeling connectors, switches and ports, adding special and detailed graphics such as company logos, bar codes and QR codes, to substitute labels/stickers from the doors or panels of the electrical enclosures; saving effort, time and possible mistakes, making paints lifetime also longer and maintaining a low cost for the customization. Multiple sources state that an UV print will last 100+ years.The printing system, based on alignment pins, offers highly precise positioning and alignment of your graphic design. Compared to the use of stickers, the placement of your design will be constant from one box to another!Our digital printing uses the halftone technique, creating colour prints by blending various densities of small droplets of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. Our Digital printing is ideal for graphics with high amounts of detail, such as a gradient finish, CGI effects or overlapping colors. Colour of the material base could slightly vary the final image colour, white ink basis can be used as a substrate applied to obtain an exact RAL colour, this guarantees the same image aspect on any material.All our digital ink offers excellent adhesion and durability for both indoor and outdoor applications, scratch resistant. Printed Surface is UV resistant. There is available as optional, an extra varnish protection: a clear layer applied to the print, increases its resistance in mechanical and chemical factors (bad handling, dropping, cleaning agents, etc.).With easy set-up and low waste, digital printing is much faster and more cost effective than serigraphy, being easily modified and updated at any time, using all colours desired without affecting the final price.-       Complex quality graphics in full colour CMYK-       Possible on different kinds of textures and materials such as Mild Steel, Aluminum, glass and plastics.-       Printing is carried out on a large flatbed area with a maximum object height of 64 mm.-       Surface dimensions up to 1.600x3.000 mm can be printed.-       Font size for texts from 4pt can be readable, minimum of 8pt is advisable.-       Bar code: the thickness of a single bar from a bar code cannot be smaller than 0.25 mm, which is valid for standard dimensions as per standard EAN-13 bar code.Find out more on our website: http://www.eldon.com/ en/News/News- 2012/Printed- Panels-Ser...


News Article | May 17, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

DAYTON, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Microtek Laboratories, Inc., a global leader in the microencapsulated phase change industry, today announced it has signed a contract with BASF for their Micronal® brand and product line, as well as, a world-wide exclusive license for the manufacture of Micronal microencapsulated phase change materials. Microencapsulated Phase Change Materials (PCMs) are widely used for thermal regulation in building and construction, mattresses and pillows, textiles, electronics, and packaging applications. Micronal is an important strategic acquisition for Microtek, which will strengthen and enhance Microtek’s product offerings to customers. Micronal PCM products meet the highest industry standards, including RAL certification. By adding the Micronal product suite to the existing microencapsulated PCM product line, Microtek will be able to offer the largest selection of microencapsulated PCM products in the world. Regardless of the manufacturing process or the final application, Microtek has the right product. “This is great addition to Microtek’s product line, creating a real advantage for customers who already have a defined manufacturing/coating process requiring a specific type of phase change product in their formulation,” said Microtek’s Chief Strategy Officer Randall Lane. “Microtek’s mission has always been to provide innovative solutions to enhance product performance for our customers. Adding Micronal to the product line allows Microtek to remain the world leader in microencapsulated PCM products,” states Lane. The Micronal product line consists of its six major products ranging from 23°C to 28°C which are offered in both liquid and dry powder forms. BASF’s current customer base for these products will be handled by Microtek’s sales force and the manufacturing of the products will be transitioned over to Microtek’s production facility in the U.S. by the end of 2017. Microtek has taken ownership of all BASF inventory of these products and will begin working with customers on May 23rd. Microtek is committed to ensuring that existing BASF customers experience a seamless transition to Microtek. Microtek is a privately held company located in Dayton, OH and has been providing leading-edge encapsulation technologies and products for our customers for nearly 35 years. Microtek participates in several markets including smart coatings via self-healing technology, agricultural, foods & flavors, gas & oil, fragrance and encapsulated phase change material. Further information at www.microteklabs.com


News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Dominic Chappell, the former owner of BHS, could be pursued for millions of pounds owed to Philip Green’s business empire as well as to creditors of the now collapsed department store. Chappell’s Retail Acquisitions (RAL), which bought BHS for £1 in 2015, has been accused of extracting an estimated £17m from the retailer despite owning it for just 13 months before it went into administration in 2016. RAL was put into liquidation earlier this month after a high court ruling on the group’s financial state, details of which were published on Tuesday. The ruling paves the way for liquidators to sift through RAL’s paperwork seeking clarity on where funds taken from BHS were moved to and attempting to recover them. As the main director of RAL, Chappell could be personally liable for money owed by the company. Lance Ashworth QC, a barrister specialising in insolvency, said liquidators would now be closely examining RAL’s accounts to establish if all the payments and agreements made by the company were legitimate. “If a payment has been made to somebody it shouldn’t have been paid out to in breach of the directors’ fiduciary duty, then the directors will be liable to make a contribution to the company’s assets,” Ashworth said. “They will also seek to establish if the company had been trading while insolvent. That could lead to a charge of wrongful trading. The liquidators will look at the company’s financial position at the outset and at the end of the day and could ask for a contribution for the difference between them.” The registrar who judged the case dismissed Chappell’s claim that RAL had about £10m of assets and so was still a viable business. Chappell claimed that Green owed RAL at least £5.5m related to the sale of BHS’s headquarters Marylebone House. However, the registrar ascribed a nominal value of just £1 to RAL for this asset. Chappell presented documents suggesting he was planning legal action to recoup up to £8.5m from Green on the basis of a handwritten note dating from March 2015 when the retail tycoon sold BHS to RAL for £1. However, the registrar found that a £3.5m loan to RAL from Green’s Arcadia Group, which includes Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, remained valid. Payment of that debt will depend on the amount of assets liquidators can recoup from RAL to pay back all the group’s creditors. The ruling also confirms that BHS made a loan of £6.2m to RAL on the day before it sent out proposals for an insolvency agreement known as a “company voluntary arrangement” in which it asked landlords to accept lower rents. The judgment also refers to a £2.8m payment from BHS to RAL which went straight to its directors including Chappell. The documents outline how RAL then charged BHS quarterly management fees, which exactly matched the amounts owed in repayments on the £6.2m loan from the retailer to its owner. Once BHS went into administration and these management fee payments dried up, RAL was unable to meet its loan repayments and the balance of the loan, £5.98m, then fell due. The documents also reveal that Chappell tried to turn a £1.5m loan from RAL secured against his parents’ home into an asset. Chappell said the loan had been swapped for a 43% stake in a Portuguese development company called Chaplake held by his father. Chappell said this asset was worth £5.08m. The judge said Chappell had provided no evidence to support that claim and the asset was more likely to be worth £1.5m. Chappell had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.


NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / May 2, 2017 / The following statement is being issued by Levi & Korsinsky, LLP: To: All persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired shares of Walter Investment Management Corp. ("Walter Investment") (NYSE: WAC) between May 3, 2016 and March 13, 2017. You are hereby notified that Levi & Korsinsky has commenced the class action Petrovets v. Walter Investment Management Corp., et al. (Case No. 8:17-cv-00695-RAL-AEP) in the USDC for the Middle District of Florida. Click here to view the complaint. To get more information go to: http://www.zlk.com/pslra/walter-investment?wire=1 or contact Joseph E. Levi, Esq. either via email at jlevi@levikorsinsky.com or by telephone at (212) 363-7500, toll-free: (877) 363-5972. There is no cost or obligation to you. The complaint alleges that throughout the class period Walter Investment made materially false and misleading statements about its financial condition, largely because: (1) the Company was involved in fraudulent practices that violated the False Claims Act; (2) the Company's Ditech subsidiary had a material weakness in its internal control over operational processes; and (3) resultantly, the Company lacked adequate internal controls over financial reporting. Take Action: if you suffered a loss in Walter Investment you have until May 15, 2017 to request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. Your ability to share in any recovery doesn't require that you serve as a lead plaintiff. Levi & Korsinsky is a national firm with offices in New York, California, Connecticut, and Washington D.C. The firm's attorneys have extensive expertise and experience representing investors in securities litigation, and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for aggrieved shareholders. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / May 2, 2017 / The following statement is being issued by Levi & Korsinsky, LLP: To: All persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired shares of Walter Investment Management Corp. ("Walter Investment") (NYSE: WAC) between May 3, 2016 and March 13, 2017. You are hereby notified that Levi & Korsinsky has commenced the class action Petrovets v. Walter Investment Management Corp., et al. (Case No. 8:17-cv-00695-RAL-AEP) in the USDC for the Middle District of Florida. Click here to view the complaint. To get more information go to: http://www.zlk.com/pslra/walter-investment?wire=1 or contact Joseph E. Levi, Esq. either via email at jlevi@levikorsinsky.com or by telephone at (212) 363-7500, toll-free: (877) 363-5972. There is no cost or obligation to you. The complaint alleges that throughout the class period Walter Investment made materially false and misleading statements about its financial condition, largely because: (1) the Company was involved in fraudulent practices that violated the False Claims Act; (2) the Company's Ditech subsidiary had a material weakness in its internal control over operational processes; and (3) resultantly, the Company lacked adequate internal controls over financial reporting. Take Action: if you suffered a loss in Walter Investment you have until May 15, 2017 to request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. Your ability to share in any recovery doesn't require that you serve as a lead plaintiff. Levi & Korsinsky is a national firm with offices in New York, California, Connecticut, and Washington D.C. The firm's attorneys have extensive expertise and experience representing investors in securities litigation, and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for aggrieved shareholders. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.


NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / April 21, 2017 / The following statement is being issued by Levi & Korsinsky, LLP: To: All persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired shares of Walter Investment Management Corp. ("Walter Investment") (NYSE: WAC) between May 3, 2016 and March 13, 2017. You are hereby notified that Levi & Korsinsky has commenced the class action Petrovets v. Walter Investment Management Corp., et al. (Case No. 8:17-cv-00695-RAL-AEP) in the USDC for the Middle District of Florida. Click here to view the complaint. To get more information go to: http://www.zlk.com/pslra/walter-investment?wire=1 or contact Joseph E. Levi, Esq. either via email at jlevi@levikorsinsky.com or by telephone at (212) 363-7500, toll-free: (877) 363-5972. There is no cost or obligation to you. The complaint alleges that throughout the class period Walter Investment made materially false and misleading statements about its financial condition, largely because: (1) the Company was involved in fraudulent practices that violated the False Claims Act; (2) the Company's Ditech subsidiary had a material weakness in its internal control over operational processes; and (3) resultantly, the Company lacked adequate internal controls over financial reporting. Take Action: if you suffered a loss in Walter Investment you have until May 15, 2017 to request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. Your ability to share in any recovery doesn't require that you serve as a lead plaintiff. Levi & Korsinsky is a national firm with offices in New York, California, Connecticut, and Washington D.C. The firm's attorneys have extensive expertise and experience representing investors in securities litigation, and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for aggrieved shareholders. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / April 21, 2017 / The following statement is being issued by Levi & Korsinsky, LLP: To: All persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired shares of Walter Investment Management Corp. ("Walter Investment") (NYSE: WAC) between May 3, 2016 and March 13, 2017. You are hereby notified that Levi & Korsinsky has commenced the class action Petrovets v. Walter Investment Management Corp., et al. (Case No. 8:17-cv-00695-RAL-AEP) in the USDC for the Middle District of Florida. Click here to view the complaint. To get more information go to: http://www.zlk.com/pslra/walter-investment?wire=1 or contact Joseph E. Levi, Esq. either via email at jlevi@levikorsinsky.com or by telephone at (212) 363-7500, toll-free: (877) 363-5972. There is no cost or obligation to you. The complaint alleges that throughout the class period Walter Investment made materially false and misleading statements about its financial condition, largely because: (1) the Company was involved in fraudulent practices that violated the False Claims Act; (2) the Company's Ditech subsidiary had a material weakness in its internal control over operational processes; and (3) resultantly, the Company lacked adequate internal controls over financial reporting. Take Action: if you suffered a loss in Walter Investment you have until May 15, 2017 to request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. Your ability to share in any recovery doesn't require that you serve as a lead plaintiff. Levi & Korsinsky is a national firm with offices in New York, California, Connecticut, and Washington D.C. The firm's attorneys have extensive expertise and experience representing investors in securities litigation, and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for aggrieved shareholders. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.


News Article | April 22, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

When BHS crashed into administration, taking 11,000 jobs along with it a year ago, one employee described the feeling as a “terrible gut-punch”. A year on, the high street is still reeling from the body blow. More than two-thirds of the retailer’s 164 stores are still lying empty and its pensioners have been left worse off, even after former owner Sir Philip Green agreed to pump up to £363m into supporting the pension scheme. For many long-serving BHS staff, the chain’s failure marked a turning point in their lives from which they are yet to recover financially. And regardless of the passage of time, the stabbing finger of blame is still being pointed at Green who, despite his role in the unravelling of BHS, has clung on to his knighthood. “I’m annoyed about what happened,” says one former employee, who hasn’t yet found a new job. “It should never have come to that. At store level, we were a group of people that worked well together and worked hard.” He adds: “The only reason Green couldn’t turn BHS around was because he never invested in it. We had outdated fixtures and fittings, asbestos and outdated lifts that didn’t work because no money was being spent on them. He starved it.” Most BHS staff received very little redundancy pay, even though some had spent decades at the group. This month just over 100 former BHS workers were awarded up to £1m in compensation because proper procedures were not followed when they were let go by the administrators. In the wake of last year’s failure, the Fashion and Textile Children’s Trust (FTCT), a hardship charity once chaired by Charles Dickens, was inundated with requests for help from BHS staff. The trust, founded in 1853 by a group of philanthropic textile merchants, received applications from a record 460 families in the last six months of 2016, with 274 relating to former BHS workers. Its small grants, which start at £250, are designed to help families meet the cost of essentials like school uniforms or winter clothing. The surge in the number of claims compared with a total of 150 for 2015 as a whole. The FTCT is currently offering its support to Jaeger staff, who are facing an uncertain outlook after the business went under earlier this month. Last week, 209 of its 680 staff were made redundant after administrators announced plans to close 20 of its 46 stores. “We are seeing an increase in applications,” says FTCT director Anna Pangbourne. “It’s a well-documented fact that the retail sector is facing challenging times and this is an indication of that.” The fact that Britain’s unemployment rate has fallen to its joint lowest level since 1975 belies the experience of thousands of BHS staff, who have struggled to find an equivalent job with a contract and regular hours. The jobless rate may be just 4.7% but official records show the number of people on zero-hours contracts hit a record high of 905,000 in the final three months of 2016. That was an increase of 101,000, or 13%, compared with the same period a year earlier. Last year, research by industry trade body the British Retail Consortium (BRC) identified a “lost generation” of predominantly female shop workers who – as thousands of BHS staff would find out – risk losing their jobs as structural change chews up the high street. It estimated there were nearly 500,000 retail workers, aged between 26 and 45, many of whom have children and need to work close to their family home, who would find it hard to find alternative jobs. Using the benchmark of those earning less than £8.05 an hour, the BRC says 1.5 million people work in low-paid UK retail jobs. About 70% are female and one in five receive means-tested working age tax credits. Norman Pickavance, chair of the Fabian Society taskforce on the future of retail, says the majority of companies in the sector are trying to save money by moving towards less secure employment models. “There are more and more zero-hours-type contracts and self employment,” he says. “A year on from the demise of BHS, most retailers are continuing down that route of flexibility but there is a risk to them from Brexit. They have only been able to use these methods because of the abundance of labour and might have to rethink.” For many former BHS staff, Green remains the villain of the piece. In 2015 he sold BHS, complete with a hefty pension deficit of more than £500m, for £1 to a consortium of investors led by former bankrupt Dominic Chappell, seemingly without a qualm. After a drawn-out negotiation process, Green finally agreed a deal with the Pensions Regulator in February that involves the creation of a new pension scheme, which will be funded by his cash injection. BHS workers will have the option of moving their pension into the new scheme, receiving a lump-sum payment, or remaining in the existing pension scheme, which will enter the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and see a 10% cut to existing benefits. Lin Macmillan, a BHS pensioner who worked as a manager for the retailer in the 1980s, says she was pleased that Green had put some money into the pension fund but the future for pensioners was still not as good as it could have been. “I think he thinks that because he paid up, he’s exonerated himself but I don’t think anybody who worked in BHS feels any better about him than they did a year ago. He’s still swanning around spending money like it’s going out of fashion. We’ve got to wait a few months before we hear the detail about our pensions.” The BHS drama has played out during a period of massive structural change in the retail sector as established chains adapt their businesses to a world in which 20% of their sales are online. Last week, both Marks & Spencer and Debenhams announced store closures as their respective new management teams attempt to square the cost of large physical store chains with changing shopper habits. M&S had already warned it planned to close 30 UK stores as it looks to slash the amount of shopfloor space devoted to selling clothing and last week’s news of the high street veteran’s retreat from prominent locations in places like Portsmouth, Slough, Warrington and Wokingham will be a blow to locals. This trend is writ larger in the US, where analysts are talking about a “retail apocalypse”, as main street veterans like Macy’s and Sears line up to announce major store closure programmes. With American Apparel, Abercrombie & Fitch and JCPenney also axing stores, hundreds of American shopping mall outlets are closing for good. The cost in job terms has been stark, with more than 89,000 retail positions eliminated over the last six months. New York-based Global Data analyst Neil Saunders says the US and UK retail markets are not mirror images, with the American woes resulting from the fallout from a belated move by store chiefs to address the threat posed by the internet. “There is certainly a parallel between BHS and players like Sears and Macy’s,” says Saunders. “All of them fall into the trap of lacking differentiation and having an offer that is very middle of the road. This doesn’t cut it in today’s cutthroat market, where the consumer has so much choice.” With more than five times more retail square footage per person than the UK, American store chiefs have also got a bigger problem on their hands than their British counterparts. “In terms of online penetration, the US is where the UK was five or so years ago,” continues Saunders. “What we are seeing is large US retailers scrabbling to adjust.” He adds: “Generally, UK retail is at a much later evolutionary stage than the US. There has already been quite a lot of adjustment in terms of the closure and adaptation of physical space. That said, the sector remains highly pressured which makes further shocks, like the closure of BHS, inevitable.” M&S has almost 1,000 stores in the UK but 304 of them are the large “full-line” outlets that sell clothing, homeware and food. While locals wring their hands at the prospect of their store closing, City analysts want chief executive Steve Rowe to take more drastic action. Ditto new Debenhams boss Sergio Bucher, who said last week that 10 of its 176 stores could be closed. Local Data Company analyst Matthew Hopkinson says the closures announced by M&S and Debenhams are tinkering at the edges, given that new brands entering the UK market could happily cover the country with 30 stores and a website. “The number of stores M&S is going to close is peanuts,” says Hopkinson. UK store chiefs are facing tough decisions at a time when trading patterns are being upset by uncertainty surrounding Brexit, with retail sales figures for the first quarter of 2017 showing the biggest drop in purchases in the last seven years. A squeeze on living standards triggered by sterling’s weakness is also pushing up prices. “Looking ahead, productivity is a big issue in the US and the UK,” says Saunders. “Profit margins are under pressure from the constant discounting and price reductions which are needed to cope with stiff competition. On top of this, costs are problematic, thanks to increases in business rates in the UK and minimum wage hikes in both countries. All of this adds up to a perfect storm which means retailers are rethinking and reconfiguring their business models.” A year on from the collapse of BHS, most of the key protagonists have moved on, although former owner Dominic Chappell still faces possible legal action. Sir Philip Green Green still has his knighthood despite MPs last year demanding that the “billionaire spiv” be stripped of the honour. In a fiery Commons debate Iain Wright, Labour chair of the business select committee, said: “Sir Philip received his knighthood for services to retail. However, throughout the course of our inquiry, it became increasingly evident that he wasn’t particularly good at retail at all.” However, the parliamentary vote holds no legal power, and the decision on whether to strip the billionaire of his gong will ultimately be made by the honours forfeiture committee. Dominic Chappell The former Le Mans racing driver bought BHS from Green for just £1 in March 2015. The Pensions Regulator is pursuing legal action against Chappell and his company, Retail Acquisitions Ltd (RAL), for £71m it wants them to stump up for BHS pensioners. RAL had received payments of up to £25m from BHS despite owning the department store chain for just 13 months until it collapsed. Chappell has pledged to fight back in the courts. Darren Topp The former chief executive of BHS told MPs Chappell had threatened to kill him for challenging him about a £1.5m transfer out of the company.(Chappell has denied this.) In September Topp was appointed chief executive of fashion brand LK Bennett. Michael Hitchcock A former financial consultant at BHS, Hitchcock was scathing of Chappell during the parliamentary inquiry. “ I think I was duped,” Hitchcock said when asked about Chappell. He is now working with Topp as chief financial officer at LK Bennett. Michael Sherwood A prominent figure in British banking, Michael Sherwood was co-head of Europe at Goldman Sachs when the bank advised Green on the sale of BHS. the department store chain to Chappell had he not passed an informal vetting by the bank. Appearing before MPs last year, Sherwood insisted that Goldman had “done a good job of highlighting the risks” of the deal, but would have done “substantially more” had it been paid. He resigned in November, but insisted BHS had nothing to do with his departure, saying it was “one blip in a 30-year career”. Rupert Neate


News Article | March 1, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Dominic Chappell, the last owner of BHS, has pledged to fight legal action by the Pensions Regulator designed to force him to pay millions of pounds into the failed retailer’s pension scheme, saying the black hole in the scheme was not his fault. The regulator has agreed a £363m cash settlement with Sir Philip Green to rescue the BHS pension scheme and halted legal proceedings against the billionaire. However, it is continuing with legal action against Chappell and his company Retail Acquisitions and is understood to be seeking as much as £17m. Green owned BHS for 15 years until he sold it to Chappell, a former bankrupt with no retail experience, for just £1 in March 2015. Retail Acquisitions (RAL) received payments of up to £25m from BHS despite owning the department store chain for just 13 months until it collapsed. A spokesman for Retail Acquisitions said: “Any action brought by the Pensions Regulator will be robustly defended because RAL did not cause or add to the pension deficit, that shortfall was built up during the previous ownership.” The failure of BHS led to the loss of 11,000 jobs and left a £571m pension deficit. A high-profile parliamentary investigation into its demise concluded that the company had been systematically plundered by its owners and accused Chappell of having “his fingers in the till”. The Retail Acquisitions spokesman said: “Dominic Chappell is currently working very hard with the liquidator to recover and preserve nearly £50m, which will benefit the creditors and BHS pensioners.” The ongoing enforcement action by the Pensions Regulator shows the settlement with Green is not the end of one of the biggest corporate scandals in Britain. The collapse of BHS is still being investigated by the Insolvency Service which could recommend that former directors of BHS are banned from being company directors in Britain. The Financial Reporting Council is also looking into the collapse, while the Serious Fraud Office is also considering whether to launch a formal investigation. The deal between Green and the Pensions Regulator has received a mixed reception. Although the settlement is endorsed by the trustees of the BHS pension scheme, workers are still very likely to have cuts to their pension benefits. The Pensions Regulator estimates that workers will on average receive about 88% of the value of their original benefits in a new pension scheme created by the settlement. This is a better outcome than if the scheme had entered the Pension Protection Fund, a lifeboat for failed pension schemes, where workers would have received an estimated 75% to 79%. Green initially pledged to “sort” the problems facing the BHS pension scheme last June when he was questioned by MPs. He has already paid more than £343m into an escrow account as part of the settlement. An additional £20m will be spent on expenses and implementing the changes to the BHS pension scheme.

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