UK - The John Lewis Partnership has transferred its 29% share in online grocery supermarket Ocado to its pension fund.
The trustees of the John Lewis Partnership Pension Fund approved the transaction, having sought external professional advice.
In a statement, John Lewis said the partners would benefit from any upside in Ocado's valuation and the pension scheme would be more secure with the addition of a valuable asset to the fund.
In addition, the transfer had the potential to reduce any future funding deficit.
John Lewis is owned by a partnership of 69,000 permanent staff who receive a share of the company's profits each year. Ocado was launched in partnership with Waitrose, which is owned by the John Lewis Partnership, in January 2002.
The partnership said Ocado had grown substantially and was no longer the start-up business that it had helped to nurture.
As a result, it had been looking at a number of ways to simplify its relationship with Ocado and to move from being both a shareholder and a supplier to Ocado to a supplier and commercial partner.
In addition to the benefits to the pension scheme, the deal would provide both Ocado and Waitrose with the security of a long-term sourcing relationship, and allowed Ocado to continue to pursue its aggressive growth plans for the long-term financial benefit of partners.
It also meant Waitrose management could now focus on the continued expansion of Waitrose's other online activities, WaitroseDeliver and WaitroseEntertaining
Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: "Ocado is a remarkable success story having developed from a standing start into a £320m turnover business in just eight years. We believe that now is the right time for us to simplify and clarify our relationship with Ocado.
"The structure of the transaction we are announcing today is an effective way of achieving that while still allowing our partners to benefit from any future increase in Ocado's value."
Professional Pensions is looking to update its list of pensions master trusts in the UK ahead of authorisation. Can you help?
RPMI Railpen is in the next step in the journey towards achieving cost disclosure. Victoria Bell tells Stephanie Baxter about taking part in the Cost Transparency Initiative's pilot phase
Interserve's numerous defined benefit (DB) schemes have retained a sponsor link after the company entered into administration and was sold.
Chris Hannon has been named chairman of the Railways Pensions Trustee Company after a unanimous vote of approval from its board last week.