Puma AG (PUM), the German sporting-goods maker which received a takeover bid from PPR SA (PP) of France yesterday, said it had spent 42 million euros ($56 million) on share buy-backs this year.
Puma acquired as much as 150,000 of the outstanding shares in the first months of 2007, Chief Executive Officer Jochen Zeitz told shareholders at the company's Annual General Meeting in Nuremberg today. The company holds 7.4 percent of its own shares, according to Zeitz.
``As of yesterday we retracted the shares we own from the market reducing our nominal capital to 40.9 million euros from 44.1 million euros,'' said Werner Hofer, Chief of Puma's Supervisory Board, which oversees the management board.
PPR, controlled by France's Pinault family, paid 330 euros a share in cash yesterday for the stake held by the billionaires Guenter and Daniela Herz. It will offer the same to other shareholders, Herzogenaurach, Germany-based Puma said.
Mayfair, the Herz investment company, proposes to re-elect its Supervisory Board members Guenther Herz, Hinrich Stahl and Johann C. Lindenberg until the EU approves the deal, which is expected at the end of June. After the EU approval they may be replaced by PPR Chief Executive Officer Francois-Henri Pinault, PPR's Chief Financial officer Jean-Francois Palus and Gregoire Amigues, PPR's director for strategy and enterprise development, the AGM heard.
Puma also proposed raising its dividend by 25 percent to 2.50 euros, Zeitz added in his speech to the shareholders.
Puma shares rose 3.87 euros or 1 percent to 349.90 euros in Frankfurt. The shares have risen 20 percent this year. Last year Puma bought back 230,000 shares for 66 million euros.
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