This finalizes a €500 million share buyback announced on October 23, 2019. The share repurchase program was due to be completed in the first half of 2020. The total number of shares repurchased under the program was 6,537,254 ordinary shares. It is intended that the shares will be cancelled.
AkzoNobel has a strong balance sheet and solid cash position. At March 31, 2020, cash and cash equivalents were €0.8 billion and financial leverage was 1.2 (net debt/EBITDA). The company has a €1.3 billion unutilized revolving credit facility with a maturity of 2025. The next bond maturity is €750 million in July 2022. In addition, the company has sufficient access to commercial paper and bank credit facilities. AkzoNobel targets a leverage ratio of 1-2 times (net debt/EBITDA) by the end of 2020 and commits to retain a strong investment grade credit rating.
This share buyback was implemented within the limitations of the authority granted by the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on April 25, 2019. The share repurchase program was conducted within the parameters prescribed by the Market Abuse Regulation 596/2014 and the safe harbor parameters prescribed by the Commission Delegated Regulation 2016/1052 for share buybacks.
In accordance with regulations, AkzoNobel has informed the market about the progress made in the execution of this program through weekly updates and at https://www.akzonobel.com/for-investors/shares/share-buyback-overview