International broker Willis Group Holdings Limited announced that, as part of its previously announced stock repurchase program, it has entered into an agreement to purchase approximately 3.8 million shares of its common stock from an affiliate of Lehman Brothers, Inc. using an accelerated stock repurchase program for an initial purchase price of $150 million.
“With significant financial flexibility, we are always considering how best to manage and utilize our capital to serve the best interests of our shareholders,” noted Chairman and CEO Joe Plumeri. “This element of our stock repurchase program is one of the levers we have at our disposal; it is both an economically attractive manner for us to deploy our available cash while at the same time continuing to build shareholder value.”
Willis also said: “Under the terms of the arrangement, the repurchased shares are subject to a price adjustment based on the volume weighted average market price of Willis’ common shares during the term of the program. The Company expects the program to be completed in the first quarter of 2007. All of the shares repurchased under the agreement will be retired.
“Including this transaction, the company expects to repurchase 5.4 million shares for $211 million during fiscal year 2006 and would have $789 million of authorized share repurchases remaining under its existing buyback authorization.”