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Legal & General completes £2.4B buyout for pension plan

Legal & General Group PLC unit Legal & General Assurance Society Ltd. completed a £2.4 billion buyout for the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan.

The transaction with Nortel allows the pension plan, which covers around 15,500 pensioner members and about 7,200 deferred members, to exit the pension protection fund, Legal & General said Oct. 8.

The plan was placed under pension protection fund assessment when its sponsoring company, telecommunications equipment firm Nortel Networks UK Ltd., went into administration in 2009. With insolvency proceedings now resolved, the plan has secured benefits exceeding pension protection fund levels, according to the statement.

"This transaction brings our total volume for global pension de-risking business to more than £8.4 billion for the year to date, a new record for us," Legal & General Group CEO Nigel Wilson said.

Following the transaction, the group's pipeline for deals in the U.K. is stronger than ever, Wilson noted, with £25 billion currently in active pricing discussions. The group's international pipeline is also at its strongest.

Legal & General said the financial metrics and Solvency II capital strain of the Nortel deal are in line with its previous assessments.