BRAMPTON, ON, April 29, 2020 /CNW/ - (TSX:L.TO - News) – Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) announced today that the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) has accepted a notice filed by Loblaw of its intention to make a normal course issuer bid (NCIB).
The TSX notice provides that Loblaw may, during the 12-month period commencing May 1, 2020 and terminating April 30, 2021, purchase up to 17,888,888 of Loblaw's common shares (Common Shares), representing approximately 5% of the issued and outstanding Common Shares, by way of a NCIB on the TSX or through alternative trading systems or by such other means as may be permitted by the TSX or under applicable law. As of April 17, 2020, Loblaw had 357,777,765 outstanding Common Shares. Based on the average daily trading volume of 597,638 during the last six months, daily purchases will be limited to 149,410 Common Shares, other than block purchase exceptions and purchases from George Weston Limited (GWL), Loblaw's majority shareholder.
Loblaw will be permitted to purchase its Common Shares from GWL in accordance with an exemption granted by the TSX pursuant to its rules, regulations and policies in connection with the NCIB in order for GWL to maintain its proportionate percentage ownership. The maximum number of Common Shares that may be purchased pursuant to the NCIB will be reduced by the number of Common Shares purchased by Loblaw from GWL.
Purchases of Common Shares will be made in open market transactions on the TSX or through alternative trading systems. In addition, Loblaw may enter into forward purchase or swap contracts in connection with Common Shares which may be settled by physical settlement, cash settlement or a combination thereof. The forward price will be based on market price, dividend yield and market interest rates. Loblaw may also purchase Common Shares through private agreements or share repurchase programs if it receives an issuer bid exemption order permitting it to make such purchases. Any purchases of Common Shares made by way of private agreements or under share repurchase programs may be at a discount to the prevailing market price as provided in the relevant issuer bid exemption order.
Purchases from GWL will be made during the TSX's Special Trading Session pursuant to an automatic disposition plan agreement between Loblaw's broker, Loblaw and GWL (ADP Agreement). Purchases from GWL will be made on trading days, as required by the ADP Agreement, that Loblaw makes a purchase from other shareholders. In the event that GWL does not sell Common Shares on any trading day as required by the terms of the ADP Agreement (other than as a result of a market disruption event), the TSX exemption will cease to apply and Loblaw will not be permitted to make any further purchases from GWL under the terms of the NCIB.
Decisions regarding the timing of future purchases of Common Shares will be based on market conditions, share price and other factors. Loblaw may elect to suspend or discontinue its NCIB at any time. Common Shares purchased under the NCIB will be cancelled or used in connection with the settlement of restricted share units or performance share units. Loblaw believes that the market price of Common Shares could be such that their purchase may be an attractive and appropriate use of corporate funds. Loblaw may also use its NCIB to acquire the number of Common Shares that are issued pursuant to the exercise of options in order to offset the dilutive effect of options that have been exercised. Under its prior NCIB that commenced on May 1, 2019 and expires on April 30, 2020, Loblaw had sought and received approval from the TSX to purchase up to 18,455,884 Common Shares. As of April 17, 2020, Loblaw has purchased 13,720,045 Common Shares under its prior NCIB through open market purchases on the TSX and exempt private agreement purchases, at a weighted average price of $70.22.
From time to time, when Loblaw does not possess material non-public information about itself or its securities, it may enter into a pre-defined plan with its broker to allow for the purchase of Common Shares at times when Loblaw ordinarily would not be active in the market due to its own internal trading blackout periods and insider trading rules. Any such plans entered into with Loblaw's broker will be adopted in accordance with the requirements of applicable Canadian securities laws.
About Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw is Canada's food and pharmacy leader, and the nation's largest retailer. Loblaw provides Canadians with grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, financial services and wireless mobile products and services. With more than 2,400 corporate, franchised and Associate-owned locations, Loblaw, its franchisees and associate-owners employ more than 190,000 full- and part-time employees, making it one of Canada's largest private sector employers.
Loblaw's purpose – Live Life Well® – puts first the needs and well-being of Canadians who make one billion transactions annually in the company's stores. Loblaw is positioned to meet and exceed those needs in many ways: convenient locations; more than 1,050 grocery stores that span the value spectrum from discount to specialty; full-service pharmacies at nearly 1,400 Shoppers Drug Mart® and Pharmaprix® locations and close to 500 Loblaw locations; PC Financial® services; affordable Joe Fresh® fashion and family apparel; and four of Canada's top-consumer brands in Life Brand®, Farmer's MarketTM, no name® and President's Choice®.
SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited
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