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Cash Distribution Free of Canadian Withholding Taxes
Follows the US$27 Million Already Returned to Shareholders via QLT's NCIB Share Repurchase Program
QLT Board Will Continue to Evaluate a Potential Further Return of Capital to Shareholders via Various Methods
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- QLT Inc. (Nasdaq:QLTI) (TSX:QLT) ("QLT" or the "Company") announced today that its board of directors (the "Board") has approved a special cash distribution to QLT's shareholders in the amount of US$200 million, by way of a reduction of the paid-up capital of the Company's shares, resulting in the return of approximately US$3.95 per share (the "Cash Distribution") based upon the current number of issued and outstanding shares of the Company. The Company will be able to make the Cash Distribution to shareholders without Canadian withholding taxes of up to 25% being payable, pursuant to an Advance Tax Ruling received from Canadian tax authorities.
The Cash Distribution is subject to shareholder approval by way of a special resolution to be sought at the Company's annual and special meeting of shareholders scheduled to be held on June 14, 2013 (the "Meeting"). The final amount of the Cash Distribution per share will be determined based upon the number of issued and outstanding shares on the record date for the distribution, which is expected to be on or about June 24, 2013 (the "Record Date"). If the Cash Distribution is approved by shareholders at the Meeting, it is expected that the Cash Distribution will be paid to shareholders of record on the Record Date on or about June 25, 2013, subject to applicable stock exchange rules.
When the Board commenced its review of the most tax efficient and effective means to return capital to the Company's shareholders, it initially authorized a return of $100 million in capital. Since then, the Company has already returned to its shareholders an aggregate of approximately $27 million, the maximum allowable under the Toronto Stock Exchange normal course issuer bid rules, pursuant to the Company's recently concluded open market share repurchase program. If the proposed Cash Distribution is approved by shareholders, it will result in a total return of capital to QLT's shareholders in less than 12 months of an aggregate of approximately $227 million.