Diageo announces next phase of return of capital programme
Diageo plc (Diageo) today announces that it is commencing the fourth, and final, phase of its previously announced return of capital (ROC) programme of up to £4.5 billion to shareholders to be completed during fiscal 23.
Under the first three phases of the ROC programme, which were completed on 31 January 2020, 11 February 2022 and 5 October 2022 respectively, Diageo repurchased shares with an aggregate value of approximately £3.86 billion.
Diageo is announcing today that it has entered into a non-discretionary agreement with Merrill Lynch International (MLI) to enable the company to buy back shares with an aggregate value of up to approximately £0.64 billion (net of any fees payable to or by MLI under the terms of the agreement). This agreement will commence on 1 November 2022 and will end no later than 24 February 2023. The purpose of the repurchases is to reduce the share capital of Diageo and all shares repurchased under this agreement will be cancelled.
Further details of the return of capital programme
MLI will make its trading decisions in relation to Diageo’s securities independently of and uninfluenced by Diageo. Any repurchase of shares by Diageo contemplated by this announcement will be carried out on the London Stock Exchange and/or other recognised investment exchange(s).
The share buybacks will be effected within certain pre-set parameters and in accordance with Diageo's general authority to repurchase shares and will be conducted within the parameters prescribed by the Market Abuse Regulation 596/2014, the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1052 (both as incorporated into UK domestic law by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018) and, in the case of Diageo, Chapter 12 of the Listing Rules.
This phase of the ROC programme, under which up to approximately £0.64 billion of shares will be repurchased, will occur within the limitations of Diageo’s existing general authority to repurchase up to 227,870,414 shares granted at its 2022 Annual General Meeting. For the avoidance of doubt, no repurchases will be made in the United States of America or in respect of Diageo's American Depositary Receipts.
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO). For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.
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