ZURICH (Reuters) – ABB will launch its new $1 billion share buyback on April 3, the Swiss engineering company said on Friday, with the intention to buy up to 30 million of its shares.
The buyback is the latest by ABB, which has repurchased around 286 million shares for roughly $8.6 billion since July 2020.
The new scheme, announced on March 23, will see the equivalent of around 1.5% of ABB’s issued shares being bought back and canceled. It will run until March 20, 2024.
“This new program is consistent with ABB’s capital allocation principles and aits capital structure optimization program targeting to maintain a strong investment grade rating,” ABB said on Friday.
The maker of industrial robots, drives and control systems has focused on buybacks in recent years instead of big acquisitions as it seeks to simplify its business under Chief Executive Bjorn Rosengren.
Since former Sandvik boss Rosengren took charge in March 2020, the Zurich-based company has sold four businesses and spun off its Accelleron turbocharger business to its shareholders.
In January, ABB sold its power conversion business to AcBel Polytech Inc for $505 million, while in December it completed the final stage of the sale of its power grids business to Hitachi, which brought in $1.4 billion.
The company is also looking to float its 2.6 billion Swiss franc ($2.85 billion) E-Mobility electric vehicle charging business, although the IPO has been delayed until ABB sees better market conditions.
The moves, coupled with ABB’s improved performance, have helped the company’s share price increase by nearly 54% since Rosengren took charge, outpacing the 11% rise by the Swiss Market Index.
($1 = 0.9136 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by John Revill, Editing by Rachel More and Mark Potter)