The Tokyo headquarters of Fujitsu has earmarked £800m to reduce the pensions burden on its UK and Ireland businesses – potentially freeing up funds for future growth.
According to news reports, Fujitsu was running a £1.6bn deficit on its 21,000-person UK and Ireland pension schemes, which can now be halved in this one-time payment.
The news comes hard on the heels of the OEM's February announcement it is laying off 5,000 staff in Europe, due to poor Q3 2013 sales on the Continent.
Fujitsu refused to comment further but, according to PR, the funds have gone into three defined-benefit pension schemes, which should release funds to accelerate growth across the UK and Ireland subsidiary.
It has 14,000 staff in the UK, where it turns over £1.8bn a year – £1.6bn of which is from its IT systems, services and products arm.
Duncan Tait, chief executive of Fujitsu UK and Ireland, said the firm had spent close to £50m in the UK in 2012, including £14m on research and development. It had also hired 1,800 people and indicates it wants to continue to expand at a similar rate.
"Our total investment [in the UK] is more than £3bn," he said in the press announcement. "The ability to safeguard the long-term future of our most valuable asset, our employees, has been one of the defining factors in making the UK and Ireland a competitive place to do business.
"In addition to this, the move has created space for the UK and Ireland business to invest over the coming years."
New investments are likely to include infrastructure, operations and acquisitions, the company indicated.
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