Bermuda-based re/insurer AXIS Capital Holdings has announced that the company’s board of directors has authorised the repurchase of up to $750 million (£499 million) of the firm’s common shares.
The company is now authorised to effect repurchases under this new plan in open market or privately negotiated transactions through until 31 December, 2016, depending on market conditions.
The repurchase authorisation is effective from December 31, 2015. It will replace the existing authorisation, which currently has approximately $444 million in remaining authorisation available through 31 December, 2016.
“We have a strong track record of returning excess capital to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends that dates back to our initial public offering in 2003,” said Albert Benchimol, president and chief executive officer of AXIS Capital.
“In the period from 2011 through the end of the most recent quarter alone, we have returned to shareholders $2.3 billion in the form of dividends and share repurchases, representing 115 percent of the sum of our operating earnings in this period and the merger termination fee received this year.”
The company’s board of directors also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.35 per common share, which represents an increase of 21 percent. The common dividend will be payable on 15 January, 2016 to the shareholders of record at the close of business on 31 December, 2015.
Benchimol added: “A critical component of delivering superior returns to our shareholders is consistent growth in our common dividends. We are pleased to announce the twelfth consecutive annual dividend increase since we declared our first dividend.”
Axis Capital Holdings, Albert Benchimol, Bermuda