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Woolworths completes off-market repurchase of shares worth A$1.7B

Woolworths Group Ltd. said May 27 that it completed an A$1.7 billion off-market share buyback program.

The group said it bought back a total of 58.7 million shares for A$28.94 per share, representing a 14% discount to the market price of A$33.64. Payments for the repurchased shares will be initiated from May 30, the release said.

The Australian Taxation Office's ruling is expected to confirm that A$24.15 of the repurchase price will be treated as a fully franked dividend for tax purposes, resulting in capital proceeds of A$7.50 per share. A ruling is anticipated by the end of June.

Meanwhile, the remainder of shares that were not bought back will be available for trading May 28.

As expected, the Australian retailer used the proceeds from the sale of its gas business to U.K.'s EG Group, better known as Euro Garages Ltd., to return the capital gain to shareholders, Chairman Gordon Cairns said.