PITTSBURGH, Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- GNC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GNC) (the "Company"), a leading global specialty retailer of health and wellness products, today announced its Board of Directors has authorized a multi-year program to repurchase up to an aggregate $500 million of the Company's Class A common stock. The authorization is effective immediately, and replaces the Company's previous authorization which had approximately $250 million remaining. The Company may finance any repurchases with cash, potential financing transactions, or a combination of the foregoing. The repurchases are expected to take place over the next 24 months with the amount and timing determined by the Company based on its financial condition, business opportunities and the market conditions at the time.
"Today's announcement reflects our confidence in the business and its ability to continue to deliver strong free cash flow," said Mike Hines, Chairman of GNC. "We remain committed to our capital allocation strategy, which is designed to both support growth and to return capital to shareholders. Increasing our share repurchase program is a very important component of this, and underscores the Board's continued commitment to creating shareholder value." CEO Mike Archbold added, "I am strongly committed to maintaining a strong financial position, and efficiently returning capital to shareholders. In my short time at GNC, the strengths of the brand and the business have become apparent. In conjunction with these findings, I am excited to make this announcement today." About Us GNC Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, is a leading global specialty retailer of health and wellness products, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplement products, sports nutrition products and diet products, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "GNC." The Company – which is dedicated to helping consumers Live Well – has a diversified, multi-channel business model and derives revenue from product sales through company-owned retail stores, domestic and international franchise activities, third party contract manufacturing, e-commerce and corporate partnerships. GNC's broad and deep product mix, which is focused on premium, value-added nutritional products, is sold under GNC proprietary brands, including Mega Men®, Ultra Mega®, Total Lean ™, Pro Performance® AMP, Beyond Raw®, GNC Puredge ™, GNC GenetixHD®, Herbal Plus® and under nationally recognized third party brands. As of June 30, 2014, GNC has more than 8,700 locations, of which more than 6,500 retail locations are in the United States (including 1,050 franchise and 2,232 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in more than 50 countries (including distribution centers where retail sales are made). Forward-Looking Statements Involving Known and Unknown Risks and Uncertainties This release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to the Company's financial condition, results of operations and business that is not historical information. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of terminology such as "subject to," "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "intends," "estimates," "projects," "may," "will," "should," "can," the negatives thereof, variations thereon and similar expressions, or by discussions regarding our dividend, share repurchase plan, strategy and outlook. While GNC believes there is a reasonable basis for its expectations and beliefs, they are inherently uncertain. The Company may not realize its expectations and its beliefs may not prove correct. Many factors could affect future performance and cause actual results to differ materially from those matters expressed in or implied by forward-looking statements, including but not limited to unfavorable publicity or consumer perception of our products; costs of compliance and our failure to comply with new and existing governmental regulations governing our products, including, but not limited to, proposed dietary supplement legislation and regulations; limitations of or disruptions in our manufacturing system or losses of manufacturing certifications; disruptions in our distribution network; or failure to successfully execute our growth strategy, including any inability to expand our franchise operations or attract new franchisees, any inability to expand our company owned retail operations, any inability to grow our international footprint, any inability to expand our e-commerce businesses, or any inability to successfully integrate businesses that we acquire. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Actual results could differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. For a listing of factors that may materially affect such forward-looking statements, please refer to the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013.