QUEBEC CITY, Dec. 1, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - With the approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange, the board of directors of iA Financial Corporation Inc. ("iA Financial Group" or the "Corporation") has authorized the Corporation to purchase, in the normal course of its activities, from December 6, 2021 to December 5, 2022, up to 5,382,503 common shares, representing approximately 5% of its 107,650,077 common shares issued and outstanding as at November 23, 2021, the whole subject to the prior approval of the Autorité des marchés financiers.
"Over the past several months, the Corporation has invested in organic growth, made acquisitions and announced a significant increase in its dividend to common shareholders. Today we are pleased to announce the establishment of a common share buyback program, which is another way of distributing the value we create through our strong organic capital generation capabilities and other means," commented Denis Ricard, President and CEO of iA Financial Group.
The purchases will be made at market price at the time of purchase through the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange or an alternative Canadian trading system, in accordance with market rules and policies. The common shares purchased will be cancelled. iA Financial Group believes that the purchase of its common shares represents an appropriate use of its funds and would be in the best interests of the Corporation and its shareholders.
The average daily trading volume of the Corporation's common shares was 197,879 on the Toronto Stock Exchange over the last six complete calendar months ("ADTV"). Since the Corporation is entitled to purchase up to 25% of the ADTV on any trading day, it can purchase up to 49,469 common shares per day. Above and beyond this daily limit of 49,469 common shares, the Corporation may also purchase a block of common shares once a week, which may exceed this daily limit, as permitted by the Toronto Stock Exchange.
iA Financial Group's decision to establish the normal course issuer bid follows a notification received from the Autorité des marchés financiers ("AMF") on November 4, 2021 that it had withdrawn its request that the relevant financial institutions suspend share buybacks. The AMF had adopted the suspension of share buybacks in the beginning of 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Corporation has not purchased any of its common shares in the last twelve months.
In addition, iA Financial Group has entered into an automatic share repurchase plan (the "Automatic Plan"). The Automatic Plan, which has been pre-cleared by the Toronto Stock Exchange, will provide for the potential repurchase of common shares at any time, including when the Corporation ordinarily would not be active in the market due to its self-imposed trading blackout periods, insider trading rules, or otherwise. The actual number of common shares purchased under the Automatic Plan, the timing of such purchases and the price at which common shares are purchased will depend on future market conditions.
Shareholders may obtain a copy of the documents filed with the Toronto Stock Exchange concerning this bid by writing to the Corporate Secretary of iA Financial Group.
This news release may contain statements relating to strategies used by iA Financial Group or statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or that include words such as "may", "will", "could", "should", "would", "suspect", "expect", "anticipate", "intend", "plan", "believe", "estimate", and "continue" (or the negative thereof), as well as words such as "objective", "goal", "guidance", and "forecast" or other similar words or expressions. Such statements constitute forward–looking statements within the meaning of securities laws. In this news release, forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, information concerning possible or assumed future operating results. These statements are not historical facts; they represent only expectations, estimates and projections regarding future events and are subject to change, particularly in light of the ongoing and evolving COVID-19 pandemic, its effect on the global economy and its uncertain impact on our operations.
Although iA Financial Group believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. Certain material factors or assumptions are applied in making forward-looking statements, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include, but are not limited to: general business and economic conditions; level of competition and consolidation; changes in laws and regulations, including tax laws; liquidity of iA Financial Group, including the availability of financing to meet existing financial commitments on their expected maturity dates when required; accuracy of information received from counterparties and the ability of counterparties to meet their obligations; accuracy of accounting policies and actuarial methods used by iA Financial Group; insurance risks such as mortality, morbidity, longevity and policyholder behaviour, including the occurrence of natural or man–made disasters, pandemic diseases (such as the current COVID-19 pandemic) and acts of terrorism.
Potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic – Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had major, unprecedented implications for both society and the economy. The overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still uncertain and depends on many factors, such as the progression of the virus, the emergence of new variants, the duration of the pandemic, potential treatments and therapies, the availability of vaccines, the effectiveness of government measures to slow the virus's spread and the impact of those measures on the economy. As a result, we cannot accurately predict the total bearing the pandemic will have, but the impact on iA Financial Corporation's business and financial results could be material. However, despite the short-term negative impacts of the pandemic on its results, iA Financial Corporation remains financially solid. In addition, iA Financial Corporation's business continuity protocol has continued, ensuring that the quality of service clients receive is similar to or better than before the pandemic and enabling employees and advisors to continue to work safely and securely.
Additional information about the material factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations and about material factors or assumptions applied in making forward-looking statements may be found in the "Risk Management" section of the Management's Discussion and Analysis for 2020, the "Management of Risks Associated with Financial Instruments" note to the audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020, and elsewhere in iA Financial Group's filings with the Canadian Securities Administrators, which are available for review at sedar.com.
The forward-looking statements in this news release reflect iA Financial Group's expectations as of the date of this document. iA Financial Group does not undertake to update or release any revisions to these forward–looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this document or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.
About iA Financial Group
iA Financial Group is one of the largest insurance and wealth management groups in Canada, with operations in the United States. Founded in 1892, it is an important Canadian public company and is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols IAG (common shares) and IAF (preferred shares).
iA Financial Group is a business name and trademark of iA Financial Corporation Inc. and Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.
SOURCE iA Financial Group
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