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Guinness Peat to start 10M pound share buyback this week

Guinness Peat to start 10M pound share buyback this week

By Paul McBeth

Sept. 4 (BusinessDesk) - Guinness Peat Group, which now counts billionaire George Soros as a substantial shareholder, will kick off its share buyback this week.

The investment firm will buy back up to 10 million pounds of stock, having signalled its intention to do so at this year's annual meeting and last week's first-half earnings update. At its last trading price of 25 pence on the London Stock Exchange, that works out at about 40 million shares, or 2.5 percent of the firm's outstanding stock. Macquarie Capital (Europe) will run the buyback programme, which starts on Friday.

"The GPG board has now decided that the company's current financial position presents an appropriate time to undertake a buy back which will increase the asset value per remaining share as part of GPG's ongoing capital management strategies," it said in a statement.

GPG reported a first-half loss of 36 million pounds in the first six months of the year after its biggest asset, UK threadmaker Coats, copped a 110 million pound fine for its role in fixing European haberdashery prices between 1977 and 1998.

GPG will pay a maximum price of 105 percent of the average of the middle market quote from its London listed shares for the five days before a transaction.

The firm may buy back more shares once the programme is finished, and will advise the market if it chooses to do so.

GPG is listed in London, Australia and New Zealand, though most of its shareholders are kiwis who followed the firm's founder, Ron Brierley.

The shares dropped 3.9 percent to 49.5 cents on the NZX yesterday. Its net tangible assets were 40.7 cents per share, according to NZX data.


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