Equinor is starting a share buy-back program of as much as $5 billion over a period until the end of 2022. The first tranche of this system of around $1.5 billion is starting today and will end before 25 February 2020.
The share buy-back program of as much as $5 billion, including shares to be redeemed from the Norwegian State, is meant to be executed in the market until the end of 2022 based on the closing Equinor share value and the USD/NOK exchange rate on September 4. The complete program represents around 292 million shares or nearly 8.7 % of the share capital. The aim of the share buy-back plan is to pare the issued share capital of the firm. All shares repurchased as part of this system will be canceled.
According to a settlement between Equinor and the Norwegian State, represented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the Norwegian State will take part in share buy-backs on a proportionate basis, guaranteeing that its ownership interest in Equinor stays constant at 67%.
The share buy-back program will probably be structured into tranches where Equinor will buy back a specific USD value of shares over a particular interval. For the first tranche, running from September 5 as much as before February 2020, Equinor is entering into a non-discretionary contract with a third party who will make its buying and selling decisions independently of the firm. In this first tranche, shares as much as USD 500 million will be bought in the market, implying a complete first tranche of around USD 1.5 billion along with the redemption of shares from the Norwegian State.
The execution of further tranches of this venture might be notified to the market and is conditional upon future annual general meetings (AGM) renewing the permission to buy back own shares and renewal of the contract with the Norwegian State.