Firm: Ashurst (Woolworths)
Deal: Ashurst has advised Woolworths Group Limited on an off-market share buy-back valued at $1.7 billion.
Value: $1.7 billion
Key players: Ashurst’s team was led by partner Sarah Dulhunty with senior associate Simon Vose and associate Diana Oh.
Fellow partner Stuart Rubin advised on US securities law aspects.
Deal significance: According to Ashurst, sound capital management is a key priority for the Woolworths Group Board.
Following the recently completed sale of its petrol business, the Woolworths Group has decided to return up to $1.7 billion to shareholders by way of an off-market share buy-back, a statement explained.
The board had considered various alternatives for returning capital to shareholders, and determined the buy-back as the most efficient and value-enhancing strategy to distribute surplus capital and franking credits.
Ashurst noted that the buy-back will enable shareholders to offer to sell their shares to Woolworths Group at a discount between 10 per cent and 14 per cent (at one per cent intervals) to the market price or at the buy-back price determined as the lowest price at which Woolworths Group can buy-back the targeted amount of capital.
The offer period will run from 16 April to 24 May 2019.
On 27 May 2019, the buy-back price and any scale back will be announced, and contracts entered into, with proceeds to be paid out on 30 May 2019, Ashurst outlined.