MONTREAL, Nov. 21, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - METRO INC. (TSX: MRU) announces that the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") has approved the Corporation's notice of intention to make a normal course issuer bid (the "NCIB Program"). Under the terms of the NCIB Program, Metro may acquire the common shares of the Corporation ("Common Shares") for a period of twelve months in accordance with the normal course issuer bid procedures of the TSX. Any repurchases will be made through the facilities of the TSX or of alternative trading systems, or by such other means as may be permitted by a securities regulatory authority.
Repurchases under the NCIB Program may commence on November 23, 2018 and will terminate on November 22, 2019. The Corporation will be able to repurchase, in the normal course of business, up to 7,000,000 of its Common Shares representing approximately 2.7 % of its issued and outstanding shares on November 13, 2018. On November 13, 2018, there were 256,253,226 issued and outstanding shares of which 207,515,387 were part of the outstanding public float of the Corporation. The average daily trading volume of the Corporation's Common Shares over the last six (6) completed months was 500,297 shares. Accordingly, under the TSX Requirements, the Corporation is entitled on any trading day to purchase up to 125,074 Common Shares subject to the TSX Requirements regarding block purchases. Repurchases will be made through the facilities of the TSX at market price, in accordance with its policies and regulations, or through the facilities of alternative trading systems as well as by other means as may be permitted by a securities regulatory authority, including by private agreements. The Common Shares so repurchased will be cancelled. Purchases made by way of private agreements under an issuer bid exemption order issued by a securities regulatory authority may be at a discount to the prevailing market price as provided in the exemption order.
The Corporation did not proceed to any repurchases in the last twelve months as a result of its decision not to renew its normal course issuer bid program after September 11, 2017 as the Corporation chose, during that period, to allocate its available excess funds to reimburse part of the debt incurred for the acquisition of The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc., as such transaction is more fully described in the Business Acquisition Report dated July 25, 2018 available on SEDAR. The Corporation's decisions to reinstate its normal course issuer bid program for the next twelve-month period as described herein will provide the Corporation with an additional option for using its excess funds.
With annual sales of approximately $16 billion, METRO INC. is a leader in the food and pharmaceutical distribution in Québec, Ontario and Eastern Canada, where it operates or is the franchisor of a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners, including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 700 drugstores primarily under the Jean Coutu, Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners, providing employment to 85,000 people. For more details, visit corpo.metro.ca.
SOURCE METRO INC.
For further information: François Thibault, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, (514) 643-1000; Roberto Sbrugnera, Vice President, Treasury Risks and Investor Relations, (514) 643-1000