Clicks to issue 10% of shares to employees

THE Clicks Group yesterday announced a broad-based BEE employee share ownership scheme that will see 10percent of the group's shares issued to employees.

The transaction is valued at R1,2billion, based on the group's market capitalisation at Wednesday's closing share price.

Chief executive David Kneale said the scheme would enable Clicks Group to retain and attract scarce and specialist skills, which are critical to the sustainability of the business.

Shares will be issued at market price to all permanent employees except senior executives currently participating in the group's long-term incentive scheme.

"Pharmacists, senior black managers and longer-serving employees will receive higher share allocations. The shortage of pharmacists is one of the biggest challenges facing our business. This scheme will enhance our ability to attract pharmacists into Clicks and give them an opportunity to share in the long-term growth and capital appreciation of the group," Kneale said. About 70percent of the shares will be allocated to black people, with 60percent of these being black women."

The scheme is subject to shareholder approval at a general meeting in January next year.

The group reported a 27,4percent rise in diluted headline earnings per share to 211,4 cents for the year ended August 2010. Diluted earnings per share were up 26,8percent to 207,7c.

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