Covestro Completes Share Buyback
A year earlier than planned, German engineering plastics producer Covestro has completed a buyback of company shares worth €1.5 billion, or 10% of its capital stock. The Leverkusen-based former Bayer subsidiary said that the 19.5 million shares repurchased will be retired and the capital reduced accordingly.
The company’s managing board plans to propose a new authorization to acquire treasury shares at an amount of up to 10% of the capital stock at its annual general meeting next year.
Chief Financial Officer Thomas Toepfer said the objective of the buyback program was to create value for shareholders, and this remains the company’s priority.
In view of recent negative reports from the German stock market, Covestro many need to be even more inventive in supporting its share price. In an environment generally less than favorable to chemical companies, the papers of the engineering plastics producer and the many times larger BASF have been bringing up the rear in terms of performance.
On the same day that BASF’s new CEO Martin Brudermüller presented the German chemical giant’s new strategy for the future, which was not enthusiastically received by all investors, Covestro announcedit was revising its outlook for 2018 downward.
The company cited intense competition, a downhill curve for isocyanates prices and low water levels in the Rhine river that hindered shipping, factors similar to those dogging BASF. Shares in Bayer have also disappointed, as investors fear fallout from the more than 9,000 still pending lawsuits involving Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup.
Covestro now expects volume growth in the low single-digit percentage range and a slightly lower EBITDA compared with 2018.