Uniq has been given the green light to plug its eye-watering £436m pension shortfall by handing over 90% of its stock to the scheme’s trustees.

The sandwich and salad supplier announced the ground-breaking plan in October and today received clearance from the Pensions Regulator.

The restructuring, which is still subject to approval by shareholders and the High Court, includes a £14m one-off payment and will leave existing shareholders with a 9.8% stake in the company.

In a related move, Uniq was move down from London’s main stock exchange to the Alternative Investment Market.

The ruling is expected to set a precedent for other companies looking to deal with retirement liabilities.

“Gaining clearance from the Pensions Regulator for the proposed restructuring is the result of over 18 months' hard work,” said Uniq chief executive Geoff Eaton.

“The pension solution will release the business from the huge legacy pension burden, while realising the best possible outcome for pension members and achieving some value for our shareholders.”

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