AIB Buys Back Almost €1 Billion in Shares From the State

AIB has bought back another big tranche of its shares held by the State, which reduces the State’s stake in the bank to about 32.6%.

AIB bought back some of its own shares from the Minister for Finance for almost €999 million. They bought 198 million shares at €5.0395 each, slightly higher than yesterday’s closing price. This purchase means the Minister’s share of AIB’s total shares goes down to about 32.6%, from over 70% in 2022.

AIB’s chief executive Colin Hunt said, “We are very pleased to return c. €1 billion to the State after reaching an agreement with the Minister for Finance to buy back a further tranche of AIB shares, reducing the State’s shareholding to 32.6%.

“This transaction is another important milestone in the process of repaying the taxpayer for their support, enhancing liquidity in AIB shares and normalising the share register.

“Having reported a very strong first quarter performance, we are well-positioned to generate sustainable profits, deliver attractive shareholder returns and support our 3.3 million customers and the wider economy.”

The Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has said that this is a positive step for both the company and the State. He went on to explain that the State’s investment in AIB has returned almost €15 billion in dividends.

“The proceeds from this transaction will be held within the Irish Strategic Investment Fund while I examine how best to use them for the benefit of the State,” the Minister said.

“While the State remains the largest shareholder in AIB, this is another important step in normalising the relationship between the State and AIB with the free float in the bank now increasing to c. 67.4%.

“The State still retains a valuable shareholding in AIB and I will continue to assess additional opportunities for share sales as they arise.”

The Staes shares in AIB have dropped from 71% at the beginning of 2022 to about 32.6% as of May 2024.

(Source: RTÉ)

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