Guinness Peat Group plc is an investment holding company which owns Coats plc (www.coats.com), the world’s leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business.
GPG is listed on the London, Australian and New Zealand Stock Exchanges and, as at 31 December 2013, it had a market capitalisation of approximately £442 million and Shareholders’ Funds at the same date of £444 million.
On 11 February 2011 the Company announced its intention to undertake an orderly value realisation of its investment portfolio. Since that time the Board and management have devoted their efforts to the implementation of a strategy directed towards turning assets held into cash at values reasonably commensurate with their underlying value given risk and timing considerations. On 3 October 2013 the Company announced the completion of the value realisation programme.
It remains the Board’s intention that GPG will distribute as appropriate the proceeds of the realisation programme while maintaining a listing for the Coats business.
This objective has been delayed by the intervention of the UK Pensions Regulator (“tPR”).
The Board and management continue to engage, to the maximum extent possible, with tPR, and to maintain open dialogue with the trustees of the relevant pension schemes. It has always been, and remains, our intention to do the right thing, balancing our continuing obligations to the Group’s ongoing schemes with our clear commitment to enhance shareholder returns and we believe a fair and timely resolution is in the interests of all concerned.
This process is likely to continue well into the 2014 calendar year and possibly beyond.