Posted by Tom Foremski - August 6, 2013
In the movie "Wall Street" fictional financier Gordon Gekko, orchestrates a deal to acquire a company with a large overfunded pension plan, which he then pockets.
Jeff Bezos is paying $250m for The Washington Post which has a huge, overfunded pension plan.
Tom Gera at the Wall Street Journal reports:
At a time when pension obligations are becoming giant financial drag on some of America’s best known companies – such a drag, in some cases, that the pension funds end up owning significant chunks of the business — having a hugely over-funded pension plan is a pretty sweet spot to be in…
That’s a pension plan that owes its recipients just under $1.47 billion, but has $2.07 billion in assets — in other words, it is over-funded by a cool $604 million.
The New York Times recently sold the Boston Globe but not its pension obligations of about $110m, overall, NYTimes Company pension plans are underfunded by more than $400m.
Warren Buffett bought some small newspapers but not their pension obligations.
Did Jeff Bezos pay just $250m for a $604m overfunded pension plan and got the newspaper for free?
It is not clear who will hold the pension plan.
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