Wed | Aug 15, 2018

GK extends share buyback to yearend

Published:Friday | November 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Grace Kennedy Limited so far has reacquired less than half of the more than eight million GK shares targeted under its share buyback programme that was initially open to subscription for a year.

As a result, the company sought and got approval to extend the offer by two months to December 31.

GK aimed to reacquire 2.5 per cent or 8,382,965 of its shares by October 17, but so far, take-up has totalled 3,847,550 units, the food and financial services conglomerate said Tuesday. More than 331.56 million of GK shares continue to trade on the market, according to the Jamaica Stock Exchange website.

The terms of the offer remain unchanged under the extension to yearend. The conglomerate says it will pay the market price for the shares at the time of purchase. The stock last traded at $60.52 - rising by more than $4 dollars, or eight per cent, since the offer first hit the market on October 17, 2013 - but has traded as high as $62.41 in the past year.

In a press release on the extension, GK said it reserves the right to refuse any offer "above the ceiling that the company may from time to time determine in its sole discretion".

The buyback is funded from the company's cash flows. At last disclosure to September, GK held operating cash of $1.14 billion and net cash of $6.5 billion.

The buyback programme aims to boost the company's earnings per share, which at the nine-month period was up from $5.93 to $7.21.