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Lear Agrees to Boost Share Repurchases

By Tim Brugger - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:12PM

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Agitating shareholders back off after Lear agrees to some changes.

In an effort to generate additional value, Lear (LEA 4.23%) and two of its primary shareholders, Marcato Capital Management and Oskie Capital Management, have worked out a deal to accelerate Lear's existing $1 billion share buyback program, according to a press release issued Monday. The company also approved a new two-year share repurchase authorization of $750 million.

Representatives of Marcato and Oskie, in addition to other Lear shareholders, worked with Lear's board of directors to structure the updated share repurchase program.

The new agreement calls for Lear to repurchase an additional $750 million of its stock, immediately following the completion of the existing $1 billion buyback program, which Lear expects to complete in the next 12 months. (It's already repurchased $200 million of common stock in the first quarter under the $1 billion authorization.)

The updated $1.75 billion commitment is in addition to $500 million in shares Lear repurchased through the end of 2012, bringing the total to $2.25 billion since 2011.

With the new deal, Marcato and Oskie have agreed to rescind their nominees for Lear's board, and will support Lear's board nominations at the 2013 annual meeting, slated for May 16. Additionally, Lear has agreed to expand its existing board of directors from eight to nine members. The new board member will be nominated "as soon as practical" following Lear's annual meeting.

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