adidas has completed its second share buyback program this year. On March 1, 2022, the company had announced that it would launch another share buyback program in mid-March to return the cash proceeds from the Reebok divestiture to its shareholders. Between March 14, 2022, and October 10, 2022, the company bought back 8,978,138 shares for a total consideration of € 1.5 billion, corresponding to an average purchase price per share of € 167.07.
The decision to repurchase shares to return the cash proceeds from the Reebok divestiture came on top of the company’s regular buyback activities. In December 2021, adidas had launched a multi-year share buyback program under which the company plans to buy back shares in an amount of up to € 4 billion until 2025. The first tranche of this program was conducted in January and February of this year. During that period, the company bought back 4,156,558 shares for a total amount of € 1 billion, corresponding to an average purchase price per share of € 240.58. Taking into account both share buybacks adidas bought back 13,134,696 shares for a total amount of € 2.5 billion in 2022. Including the dividend payment of € 610 million in May, the company returned more than € 3.1 billion to its shareholders in 2022.
Strong cash returns are a key component of adidas strategy ‘Own the Game’. As part of this strategy, adidas plans to generate substantial cumulative free cash flow until 2025 and return the majority of it – between € 8 billion and € 9 billion – to its shareholders through regular dividend payments in a range of between 30% and 50% of net income from continuing operations, complemented by share buybacks. The € 1.5 billion share buyback program related to the divestiture of Reebok come in addition to these regular shareholder returns.
As previously announced, the company intends to cancel the majority of the shares repurchased as part of its buyback activities. As a result, adidas will cancel a total of 12,100,000 treasury shares in the upcoming weeks, reducing the share count and stock capital from 192,100,000 to 180,000,000.