Sage starts £250m share buyback after disposal

Sage Group CEO Steve Hare

Newcastle-based software giant Sage Group said this week it completed the disposal of Sage Pay to Elavon, a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, for £232 million — and said it has started a share buy-back programme of up to £250 million.

Sage said all shares repurchased will be held in treasury and “used to meet obligations arising from share option programmes, or other allocations of shares” to employees or directors.

“Further to the announcement dated 18 November 2019, The Sage Group plc confirms that it has completed the disposal of Sage Pay to Elavon, a leading global payments company and wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, for a cash consideration of approximately £232 million (subject to a customary post-completion net debt and working capital adjustment),” said the Newcastle firm on March 11.

“Reflecting the sale proceeds from the Sage Pay disposal, Sage also today confirms that the £250 million capital return, announced on 20 November 2019, will be executed via a share buy-back programme which is expected to commence shortly.”

On March 12, Sage added: “… The Sage Group plc today announces the commencement of its share buy-back programme.  

“Sage has entered into non-discretionary arrangements with its joint corporate brokers, Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc in relation to the purchase by the brokers, acting as principals, of ordinary shares of Sage. 

“These arrangements will commence on 12 March 2020, are expected to end no later than 13 January 2021, and will be for a value of up to £250 million.

“The brokers will make trading decisions in relation to shares purchased under the buy-back programme independently of, and uninfluenced by, Sage.  

“The brokers will make a simultaneous on-sale of such shares to Sage, and all shares repurchased will be held in treasury and used to meet obligations arising from share option programmes, or other allocations of shares, to employees or directors …”

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