Oslo, 29 October 2019: Reference is made to Yara’s stock exchange release dated 18 October 2019. Yara International ASA has now issued an external bank mandate subject to “safe harbour" exemptions, to buy back up to 0.5% (1,362,013 shares) of its outstanding shares by the end of 2019. Including the proportional redemption of shares owned by the Norwegian state, the total buyback and redemption will amount to approximately 0.8% of shares outstanding.
Yara's targeted capital structure is a mid- to long-term Net debt/EBITDA range of 1.5-2.0 and a net debt/equity ratio below 0.60. Subject to these requirements, Yara's ordinary dividend shall be 50% of net income. Shareholder returns are distributed primarily as cash, with share buy-backs as a supplemental lever.
Yara considers a moderate buy-back level appropriate while credit metrics recover, but will consider higher cash distribution levels should the improvement continue. Yara’s net debt/EBITDA as of 30 September 2019 would be close to 2.0 including the full effect of the announced buyback.
Under the current bank mandate, the buy-back will be completed by latest 20 December 2019, and the purchases shall not exceed NOK 500 per share.
Yara has an agreement with the Norwegian State according to which the State's shares will be redeemed on a pro-rata basis to ensure that the State's ownership is unchanged when shares are cancelled.
The buy-back is part of a program authorized by the Yara Annual General meeting held 7 May 2019, which authorized Yara to buy back up to 5% (13,620,131 shares) of its share capital before its 2020 Annual General Meeting.
Note on Alternative performance measures: Alternative performance measures are defined, explained and reconciled to the Financial statements in the APM section of the third-quarter 2019 report on pages 31-36.
Thor Giæver, Investor Relations
Mobile: (+47) 480 75 356
Kristin Nordal, Media Relations
Mobile: (+47) 900 15 550
Yara grows knowledge to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet, to fulfill our vision of a collaborative society, a world without hunger and a planet respected. To meet these commitments, we have taken the lead in developing digital farming tools for precision farming and work closely with partners throughout the whole food value chain to develop more climate-friendly crop nutrition solutions. In addition, we are committed to working towards sustainable mineral fertilizer production. We foster an open culture of diversity and inclusion that promotes the safety and integrity of our employees, contractors, business partners, and society at large. Founded in 1905 to solve the emerging famine in Europe, Yara has a worldwide presence with about 17,000 employees and operations in over 60 countries. In 2018, Yara reported revenues of USD 12.9 billion.
This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to Section 5-12 the Norwegian Securities Trading Act