ECC in pounds 100m share buy-back plan
Tuesday 15 September 1998
The company - the world's largest producer of kaolin, a soft clay used in paper and ceramics - said yesterday that it was considering "a significant repurchase of shares". It is understood that ECC could buy back up to 20 per cent of its shares - a move that would cost about pounds 100m at yesterday's closing price. The bulk of the buyback is set to take place after April 1999 to take advantage of tax changes, according to sources close to the company.
Lawrence Urquhart, chairman, said the board decided to return cash to shareholders after being "disappointed by the company's share price performance".
ECC made a large loss in 1996 after a radical overhaul of its key businesses. It returned to the black last year, but the turnaround failed to trigger a recovery in the share price.
Shares in ECC have fallen by almost a half since their 12-month peak of 290.5p in October, amid a general downgrade of the extraction sector and concerns over weaker mineral prices.
They rebounded 18.5p to 163.5p yesterday, buoyed by news of the share buyback and the release of interim results in line with City analysts' expectations.
ECC reported a 5 per cent increase in pre-tax profit to pounds 43.5m on turnover up slightly to pounds 417.2m. Sales in its core paper minerals division jumped 8 per cent in the first half, but prices remained subdued, ECC said.
The company also announced the acquisition of Minco, a US ceramics business, for $28m (pounds 17.5m).
Patrick Drayton, finance director, said the purchase was part of ECC's strategy of growing through bolt-on acquisitions. He said the company could spend up to pounds 35m by the end of the year on similar acquisitions.
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
- 4 Halle Berry takes ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry to court for allegedly trying to make daughter look less African-American
- 5 Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
iJobs Money & Business
£Attractive: Citifocus Ltd: High calibre individual with significant product d...
£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Leading global bank seeks experienced credit analy...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: High calibre individual with a high degree...
£Attractive: Citifocus Ltd: High calibre individual with superior academics an...