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An Announcement From The Chairman

We are delighted to confirm that the above business has been acquired by Oakleys Group Ltd as a going concern with effect from today’s date from the Administrators who were appointed on December 2nd2020.

It is the Directors of Oakleys Group’s (Robert and Ross Bland as in Oakleys Ltd) intention to maintain and strengthen our working relationships with both our customers and key suppliers of the old business from the same premises on the Cressage straight near Shrewsbury.

The primary reason behind the insolvency of Oakleys Ltd was the quickly deteriorating position of Oakleys Staff Pension Scheme following recent sight of the preliminary Triannual Actuarial Report. Simplistically, the liabilities of the scheme are assessed actuarially by long term bond yields and as a consequence when bond rates fall then liabilities escalate exponentially. The result was a deficit in excess of £3m which the sponsoring company is ultimately responsible for. As a consequence of this liability the company was unable to raise funds for the company after a difficult trading year in 2020 and as such, it becomes insolvent.

Oakleys formed the final salary pension scheme in the early 1970s to support retired members of staff in retirement and Robert has been both a member and a Trustee throughout. The scheme currently has 90 or so members and a portfolio of some £6m to settle the liabilities into the future. We believe we have managed the scheme scrupulously, equitably and carefully. The company has supported the scheme over the last 3 years with over £50k of incremental contribution and as such, the current predicament is we believe, no fault of either the company or the Trustees but rather as a consequence of how pension liabilities are measured.

The Pension Scheme will move into the PPF (Pension Protection Fund) immediately thereby protecting the benefits of all of the Scheme members. We believe this process was the only way to protect the jobs and livelihoods of our staff most of whom have not been involved with this Pension Scheme but are vital going forward. Furthermore, we hope to be able help our creditors.

We would like to thank all our customers and suppliers who offered their support during what has been very “uncertain” times recently. We hope we can count on your continued support going forward.

Robert and Ross Bland

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