Business information giant Thomson Reuters Corp (NYSE:TRI) has announced that it intends to purchase up to 6.5 million of its common shares through private agreements with two armʹs-length third-party sellers. at TRI’s current share price, the total purchase would amount to about USD $269 million. As at June 30, TRI had $686 million of cash in the bank.
Any shares purchased under these agreements will count towards the company’s existing normal course issuer bid (NCIB), which allows it to buy back up to 37.5 million common shares between May 30, 2016 and May 29, 2017. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has issued issuer bid exemption orders permitting the company to make such private agreement purchases.
These private agreement purchases are part of the company’s plan announced in February 2016 to purchase up to an additional US$1.5 billion of its common shares.
The price that Thomson Reuters will pay for its common shares through private agreements will be at a discount to the prevailing market price on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) at the time of purchase, may be made in one or more trades over time, and must otherwise comply with the terms of the OSC’s order. Decisions regarding any future repurchases, including through private agreements, will depend on factors such as market conditions, share price and opportunities to invest capital for growth.
Information regarding each private purchase, including the number of common shares purchased and aggregate purchase price, will be available on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) following the completion of any such purchase.
To date, Thomson Reuters has not purchased any common shares under its NCIB pursuant to private agreements. The number of common shares which may be purchased under private agreements may not exceed 12,500,000, being one-third of the total number of common shares which may be purchased under the NCIB.