Launch of a new program on the second trading line on virt-x as from July 1, 2005.
As already announced on the occasion of the publication of the 2004 business results, Swatch Group launches a new share repurchase program on a second trading line. The size of the new share repurchase program corresponds to a market value of CHF250 million. The share repurchase will take place on virt-x on separate trading lines (bearer shares and registered shares, respectively), established solely for this purpose. These trading lines have been opened on virt-x as of today, July 1, 2005.
Swatch Group will ensure that holders of bearer and holders of registered shares can tender their shares on comparable terms to Swatch Group on the separate trading lines. The shares will be repurchased after deduction of the Swiss federal withholding tax. The intended use of the shares to be repurchased , will be determined at a later date. Herewith, and without time limitation, Swatch Group retains the full range of possibilities for the use of the repurchased shares (e.g. capital reduction, acquisitions, equity-linked transactions, employee participation or resale).
Under the completed share repurchase program, which ran from May 14, 2004 to June 30, 2005, [449,500] bearer shares with a nominal value of CHF2.25 each, and [2,140,000] registered shares with a nominal value of CHF 0.45 each have been repurchased by Swatch Group. According to the capital reduction decision by Swatch Group's General Meeting held on May 18, 2005, the share capital will be reduced and the repurchased shares cancelled following the ordinary procedures.
The Swiss federal withholding tax will be applied to shares sold via the second trading lines at a rate of 35% on the difference between the repurchase price of the registered or bearer shares and their nominal value. We recommend that all shareholders interested in this program obtain appropriate individual advice regarding tax implications.