It’s not often we post articles about stock sales and the like, but we found it interesting that Arctic Cat has purchased approximately 6.1 million shares of Arctic Cat Class B common stock from Suzuki Motor Corporation for $79.3 million.
The stock buyback reduces Arctic Cat’s outstanding shares from 18.4 million to 12.3 million, increasing non-Suzuki shareholders’ ownership of outstanding common shares by approximately 33 percent, and leaves Arctic Cat’s public share float unchanged. Arctic Cat funded this purchase with existing cash on its balance sheet. The company expects to end its 2012 fiscal year with more than $60 million in cash and no debt, after deducting cash used for the share purchase from Suzuki.
“Based on our current cash position and ongoing cash generation, we feel comfortable with this share purchase and believe it provides great value to our remaining shareholders,” says Claude Jordan, Arctic Cat president and CEO. “Suzuki has been a major shareholder since 1988 and a valued engine supplier for the Arctic Cat brand since 1976. We have benefited significantly from this long-standing relationship. Although Suzuki will no longer have an ownership stake in Arctic Cat, we look forward to continuing to purchase snowmobile engines for the next two model years, in addition to having Suzuki supply Arctic Cat with snowmobile engine parts to service existing engines after that time.”
Suzuki will continue to supply snowmobile engines to Arctic Cat through the 2014 model year, as well as engine parts to service existing engines. Arctic Cat will move snowmobile engine manufacturing to its St. Cloud, Minn., facility, where the company has manufactured ATV engines since 2007.
In conjunction with the buyback of all of Suzuki’s Class B Arctic Cat shares, Suzuki’s representative has resigned from Arctic Cat’s board of directors, effective immediately. This is a position granted Suzuki as part of its ownership of the Class B shares, does not continue following the buyback and brings the total number on Arctic Cat’s board to seven, the majority of which are independent directors.