CALGARY, June 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Imperial Oil Limited today announced it has received final acceptance from the Toronto Stock Exchange for a new normal course issuer bid to continue its existing share repurchase program facility that will expire on June 24, 2012.
The new program enables the company to repurchase up to five percent of its 847,599,011 outstanding common shares as of June 15, 2012, or a maximum of 42,379,951 shares during the next 12 months. That total will be reduced by the number of shares purchased for the company's employee savings plan and employee retirement plan. Shares purchased under the normal course issuer bid are restored to the status of authorized but unissued shares.
Exxon Mobil Corporation, Imperial's majority shareholder, will also be permitted to sell its shares to Imperial outside the provisions of, but concurrently with, the normal course issuer bid in order to maintain its proportionate share ownership at 69.6%.
Exxon Mobil Corporation has advised Imperial that it intends to participate, as it has in prior years.
The new one year program will begin on June 25, 2012, and will end when the company has purchased the maximum allowable number of shares, or it provides earlier notice of termination. All share purchases will be made through the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
From time to time Imperial may have cash in excess of its day-to-day operating and capital investment needs. Imperial's board of directors has concluded that it would be in the best interests of its shareholders to have the flexibility to purchase shares in the market and from Exxon Mobil Corporation. If required, it is a flexible way of rebalancing Imperial's capital structure while distributing a portion of its cash reserves to shareholders who choose to participate by selling their shares. Exxon Mobil Corporation's concurrent participation with the normal course issuer bid will permit Exxon Mobil Corporation to maintain its current percentage ownership level of shares.
In addition, in December 2002, Imperial introduced a restricted stock unit plan pursuant to which shares may be issued upon vesting. Since there could be a dilution in the percentage ownership levels of shareholders that would result from the issue of shares on the vesting of restricted stock units, Imperial considers that it would be in the best interests of Imperial and its shareholders to proceed with the purchase of shares in the market to reduce or eliminate such dilution.
Imperial will continue to evaluate its share purchase program in the context of its overall capital activities. Share repurchases under the existing program were limited to 3,143,484 shares at a total cost of about $143.4 million by June 15, 2012, representing an average cost of $45.62 per share. Imperial's daily trading limit under the new program will be 175,119 shares, which number is 25% of Imperial's daily trading volume.
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