VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 27, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- QLT Inc. (Nasdaq:QLTI) (TSX:QLT) ("QLT" or the "Company") announced today that its board of directors has approved a share repurchase program (the "Share Repurchase") in the open market through the facilities of the NASDAQ Stock Market ("NASDAQ"), the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") and other Canadian marketplaces over the next 12 months. Pursuant to the Share Repurchase, the Company proposes to repurchase up to 3,438,683 common shares of QLT, which is the maximum number of shares permitted to be purchased under the TSX rules and represents 10% of the public float. In accordance with TSX rules, "public float" is the Company's outstanding common shares as at the date of the TSX approval of the Share Repurchase, less any shares held by the Company's senior officers and directors and by shareholders that own 10% or more of the common shares as at that date. As of September 26, 2012 there were 50,918,927 common shares of QLT outstanding, of which 34,386,837 common shares were in the public float. Jason M. Aryeh, Chairman of QLT's Board of Directors stated, "This Share Repurchase is just the initial step in the Board's previously announced commitment to return $100 million of capital to our shareholders. The Board is continuing to diligently explore and evaluate all possible options to most efficiently and effectively achieve at least our initial capital return commitment, with consideration for expediency, the limitations of governing regulations and tax-efficiency. This is yet another milestone in the Board's effort to enhance shareholder value and to pursue strategic objectives in the best interests of the Company and its fiduciaries." In order to implement the Share Repurchase, QLT has received TSX approval of its notice of intention to make a normal course issuer bid. The notice provides that QLT may, during the 12 month period commencing on October 2, 2012 and ending on or before October 1, 2013, purchase up to 3,438,683 common shares through the facilities of the NASDAQ, TSX and other Canadian marketplaces. The purchases will be made by QLT in accordance with TSX rules and Policies and Rule 10b-18 of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.