Auckland Airport plans to return $454M by cancelling one in 10 shares
Nov. 28 (BusinessDesk) – Auckland International Airport, the nation’s busiest gateway, plans to return $454 million to shareholders by way of a share cancellation, with 60 percent of the payment to be treated as a taxable dividend.
The company will seek shareholder approval in February for a scheme of arrangement to cancel one in 10 shares at $3.43 apiece, compared with their most recent trading price of $3.415. The transaction requires approval of at least 75 percent of voting shareholders and the company would then seek final High Court clearance in March, with the return of capital aimed for mid-April, it said in a statement.
The airport said 40 percent of the payment will be a capital return for tax purposes and the balance treated as a dividend, fully imputed at 28 percent tax rate.
“The company’s strong performance over the past five years, including our successful property development and retail businesses and our investments in other airports, means we currently have a less efficient mix of debt and equity than we had in the past,” chairman Henry van der Heyden said.
“By returning capital to our shareholders we can improve our balance of equity and debt, returning to levels achieved in 2011,” he said.
The airport said it is well placed to continue investing in the upgrade of its domestic terminal even with the return of capital. It doesn’t expect any impact on its A- credit rating with Standard & Poor’s.