Swedish Match finalizes the sale of its South African operation to Philip Morris International and repurchases own shares
As announced on 2 July 2009, Swedish Match AB (publ) (“Swedish Match”) has sold its South African operation, Swedish Match South Africa (Proprietary) Limited (“SMSA”) to Philip Morris International [NYSE/Euronext Paris: PMI] (“PMI”). The sale has now been completed at a sales price of 1.75 billion ZAR plus a preliminary adjustment for cash and working capital amounting to 230 million ZAR. Swedish Match’s Annual General Meeting on April 28, 2009 authorized the Board of Directors to repurchase own shares for a maximum amount of 3 billion SEK. The Company has so far utilized this mandate to buy back 7,753,645 of its own shares for a total amount of 999,048,981 SEK. The Company will use proceeds from the sale of SMSA to continue its share buyback program until the Annual General Meeting 2010. Repurchases of own shares may take place on one or more occasions from today up until September 25, 2009, and from October 28, 2009 up until January 22, 2010, and from March 11, 2010 up until March 26, 2010. Not more than 25 percent of the average daily volume may be purchased in any one day. Repurchases will be made on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm at a price within the share price interval registered at that time, where the share price interval means the difference between the highest buying price and lowest selling price. The price may not exceed the higher of the prices between the last independent trade and the highest current independent bid price. Repurchases may be made of not more than 16,080,000 shares. The repurchase of shares will correspond to a maximum aggregate consideration of 2,000,951,019 SEK. Swedish Match currently owns 9,020,000 shares and the total outstanding shares, including the Company’s own holdings, amount to 251,000,000. The purpose of the buyback program is to reduce Swedish Match's share capital through cancellation of shares repurchased, and to cover the allocation of options as part of the Company’s option programme.