ICL Announces Record Share Repurchase Programadmin
Israel Chemicals Ltd., a multinational fertilizer and specialty chemicals company, today announced that its Board of Directors has approved its intention to commence a stock repurchase program of up to five percent of its outstanding Ordinary Shares over a ten month period through June 30, 2009.
The share purchase program, which could amount to NIS 3.5 billion ($971 million) according to yesterday’s closing share price, is the largest ever initiated by an Israeli company. The buyback will involve the purchase of ICL’s Ordinary Shares in open market and off market transactions, by ICL or its subsidiaries.
The repurchase program was authorized by ICL’s Board of Directors as a result of the company’s positive financial condition and its significant cash flow. The Company recently announced record financial results for the first half of 2008, including net profit of $1.05 billion on $3.6 billion in revenues and 37% operating margins. Cash flow generated from operating activities for the second quarter reached a record of $473.5 million. The repurchase shall be made with funds eligible for distribution as dividends in accordance with the Israel Companies Law, 1999.
Together with the company’s recently announced $300 million dividend, to be paid on September 23, and other dividends totaling $288 million distributed earlier in 2008, the share repurchase program underlines the Board’s faith in the company. The Board believes that this significant repurchase of shares in the company is justified and appropriate given the Company’s recent business results.
ICL is one of the world’s leading fertilizer and specialty chemicals companies. ICL produces approximately a third of the world’s bromine and approximately 9% of its potash. ICL is a leading supplier of fertilizers in Europe and a major player in specialty fertilizer market segments. One of the world’s most integrated manufacturers and suppliers of phosphate products, ICL has become the world’s leading provider of pure phosphoric acid and a major specialty phosphate player.
ICL is comprised of three core segments: ICL Fertilizers, ICL Industrial Products and ICL Performance Products. Its major production activities are located in Israel, Europe, the US, South America and China, and are supported by major global marketing and logistics networks. ICL benefits from exclusive concessions to extract minerals from Israel’s Dead Sea, a vast source of high-quality and low-cost potash, bromine, magnesium chloride and sodium chloride. ICL also mines phosphate rock from Israel’s Negev Desert and potash and salt from its mines in Spain and the UK.
ICL’s revenues for 2007 were $4.1 billion with operating income of $743 million. ICL’s shares are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: ICL).