No Simple Plan: Pension Issues in M&A

21 septembre 2007

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Posted with permission from Benefits Canada magazine (September 2007 issue)

While it is rare for pension issues to make or break a corporate deal, every merger or acquisition involving a pension plan is nonetheless fraught with legal and financial implications for both the purchaser and the seller. More often than not, the pension options available to the parties will depend on the mode of acquisition. In order to minimize the risks associated with acquiring or divesting pension liabilities, both the purchaser and seller need to be aware of their respective options as well as the definite and potential consequences that flow from each.

Below, we'll look at the effect typical deal structures have on the options available to the purchaser and the seller given the nature of the target company's pension arrangements. This article examines pension plans subject to Ontario's Pension Benefits Act (PBA). However, the general theme of the article is applicable to plans registered in other Canadian jurisdictions.

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