Ahold Delhaize has authorized a new €1 billion share buyback program, to start at the beginning of 2021. The new program is a testament to the strength the company expects to continue to see in its business model.
Ahold Delhaize owns multiple grocery chains in the U.S. including Food Lion, The Giant Co., Giant Foods, Hannaford and Stop & Shop.
Maintaining a balanced approach between funding growth in key channels and returning excess liquidity to shareholders is part of Ahold Delhaize’s financial framework and supports its Leading Together strategy. As COVID-19 continues to impact the company’s communities, Ahold Delhaize aims to also strike the appropriate balance with important investments in additional safety measures, enhanced associate pay and benefits and significant charitable donations which resulted in approximately €470 million in COVID-19-related costs year to date.
The purpose of the share buyback program is to reduce the capital of Ahold Delhaize, by cancelling all or part of the common shares acquired through the program. The program will be executed within the limits of relevant laws and regulations, the existing authority granted at Ahold Delhaize’s 2020 annual general meeting of shareholders on April 8, and the authority (if granted) by the 2021 annual general meeting on April 14, 2021.
The share buyback program is executed in several tranches. For each of them, a dealer is mandated to execute the purchase of the shares at his own discretions in compliance with the Market Abuse Regulation (“MAR”) and within pre-defined execution parameters. Shares are bought in the market and accumulated on the treasury share account until cancellation. Pursuant to the relevant statutory provisions, cancellation may not be affected earlier than two months after a resolution to cancel shares is adopted and publicly announced.
Ahold Delhaize, based in Zaandam, the Netherlands, is committed to the share buyback program, but given the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, management will continue to monitor macroeconomic developments. The program is also subject to changes in corporate activities, such as material M&A activity.
Ahold Delhaize will provide regular updates on the progress of the program by means of press releases.