South African retailer Woolworths on Monday unveiled a black economic empowerment (BEE) deal, whereby Woolworths employees will acquire approximately 10% of the group's ordinary issued share capital.
Woolworths will create a new class of convertible, redeemable, non-cumulative participating preference shares with a value 15 cents each -- the Esos shares.
Woolworths has estimated the economic cost of entering into the BEE transaction to be approximately R292-million, it said. This represents approximately 1,38% of its market capitalisation of approximately R21,107-billion at 26 April 2006.
Woolworths will at appropriate times issue Esos shares, up to a maximum of 89,4-million shares, to the Woolworths Employee Share Ownership Trust (Esos trust). The Esos trust will hold the Esos shares for the benefit of the vested beneficiaries for the eight year term of the scheme, following which the Esos shares will be distributed and converted into ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis.
All Woolworths employees who were employed at 1 May 2007 and who are still employed as at the initial vesting date, which is expected to be 30 June 2007, will participate in the BEE transaction, with the exception of white managers and white executives who already participate in an existing Woolworths' share ownership scheme.
The result is approximately 17 000 employees will participate in the transaction, of whom 90% are black and 85% are women.
story from M&G here