Castle Private Equity share buyback to start on August 24
Castle Private Equity has received regulatory approval to buy back up to 4% of its share capital, equivalent to a maximum of 1,728,000 shares.
The actual size of the buyback programme to start on August 24 will remain at the discretion of the company’s board allowing it to take into account portfolio liquidity and market conditions, it said.
The company’s board, the SIX Swiss Exchange listed fund of private equity funds, had proposed on July 13 to buy back some of its own shares with up to a maximum value of $15m.
To ensure tax efficiency the buyback programme will be executed via a second trading line denominated in Swiss francs (CHF) which will be opened on the SIX Swiss Exchange on 24 August and stay open until 17 April 2012.
The company will be the exclusive buyer and will repurchase the shares with the aim of reducing its share capital. Zurich Cantonal Bank will be the SIX Swiss Exchange member responsible for setting bid prices on the second line.
In net asset value (NAV) terms Castle PE has returned 9.21% a year to the end of June 2011 and 20.73% in 2010. It has assets of approximately $685m and was listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange in 1998. The portfolio comprises private equity funds and diversified direct investments.
Hans Markvoort, general manager Castle PE, said the company had a “well diversified” portfolio and a strong track record. “We do not believe that the current discount level is justified. The share buyback programme is designed to reduce the discount to NAV at which shares in the company trade in the secondary market,” he said.