Liberty Global plc (“Liberty Global” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: LBTYA, LBTYB and LBTYK) announced today that its Board of Directors has approved the authorization of a $1.0 billion increase to its two-year $3.5 billion stock repurchase program, bringing its total program to $4.5 billion (the “Program”), of which approximately $700 million was utilized through September 30, 2013. In connection with the increase, the Board of Directors has extended its intention to complete the Program from mid-2015 to year-end 2015.
Mike Fries, Chief Executive Officer, said “Liberty Global has a consistent track record of delivering value to our shareholders in terms of stock price appreciation and capital returns. Since our formation in 2005, we have repurchased more than $10 billion of our equity and our stock has significantly outperformed the broader market. Today’s increase to our previously announced stock buyback program reflects our continued commitment to capital returns.”
Separately, the Board of Directors has approved a stock dividend of one Liberty Global Class C ordinary share on each outstanding Class A, Class B and Class C ordinary share. Based on our shares issued and outstanding of 394.6 million as of December 13, 2013 (consisting of 222.0 million Class A ordinary shares, 10.2 million Class B ordinary shares and 162.4 million Class C ordinary shares), upon completion of the stock dividend we would have total issued and outstanding shares of approximately 789.1 million, including approximately 557.0 million Class C ordinary shares.
This dividend has been factored into the terms of our recently announced Ziggo N.V. acquisition, and will provide us with greater flexibility in our future M&A activity. It also underscores our confidence in our ability to continue creating shareholder value and will provide greater liquidity for holders of our Class C ordinary shares, since the float has decreased over the last several years due to our substantial repurchases.