Tyson to buy back 22.5 million shares

by Eric Schroeder
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SPRINGDALE, ARK. — The board of directors at Tyson Foods, Inc. has reactivated a program to repurchase up to approximately 22.5 million shares of Tyson’s Class A common stock.

“We have confidence in our company’s performance and are taking this opportunity to return capital to shareholders,” said Donnie Smith, president and chief executive officer. “For the past several years, our key priorities for using our cash were to pay down debt and to reinvest in our business. We have made significant progress on these efforts, and they will continue to be a focus. However, given the weakness in our share price, along with our strong liquidity, we believe accelerating the repurchase of shares is also an appropriate use of cash at this time.”

Under terms of the program, Tyson would be allowed to purchase shares through a variety of methods, including in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions, in accordance with applicable securities laws. The program does not obligate Tyson to make any repurchases at any specific time or situation.

Tyson said the timing and extent to which the company repurchases its shares will depend upon market conditions, liquidity targets, debt obligations and regulatory requirements. The company intends to begin repurchasing shares during this fiscal third quarter. The amount to be repurchased during the third quarter is expected to be less than 25% of the total authorization.

As of May 10, Tyson had approximately 309.5 million Class A shares outstanding.

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