Aegon announced today that, in line with the share repurchase program announced on August 9, 2007, the company has repurchased 10,378,592 common shares during the week of November 12 until November 16, 2007.
The common shares were repurchased at an average price of EUR 12.9790 for a total amount of EUR 134,703,264. With this, the EUR 1 billion share repurchase program has been completed.
The total number of common shares repurchased under the EUR 1 billion program is 74,569,902 shares. This represents 4.6% of Aegon's issued and outstanding common shares and 4.0% of Aegon's total issued and outstanding share capital. The common shares were repurchased at an average price of EUR 13.4102.
Aegon will seek approval from its shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting on April 23, 2008 to cancel all common shares repurchased as part of this program.
In 2007, Aegon has returned EUR 1.9 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases.
In recent years, Aegon has achieved significant growth in its value of new business. At the same time, the Group's existing operations have shown healthy capital generation, primarily as a result of benign world financial markets, while opportunities for significant value-enhancing acquisitions have been limited. Aegon's share repurchase program will not affect the Group's organic growth, nor will it limit Aegon's ability to carry out value-enhancing add-on acquisitions in the future.
A number of developments are allowing Aegon to adopt a more proactive and efficient approach to capital management over the medium term. Aegon's recent strong financial performance has been paired with a shift to less capital-intensive businesses, particularly in the Group's North American operations. At the same time, the market for securitizations of life insurance portfolios has developed more attractive pricing characteristics, making securitization a potentially more effective capital management tool. With increased hedging of market risks and the application of the Group's own internal Market Consistent Framework, Aegon believes its business will become increasingly more capital efficient in the medium term.
Share repurchases are an integral part of Aegon's overall capital management strategy. Aegon expects that the completed share repurchase program will have a positive effect on its net (underlying) operating earnings per share. The number of shares outstanding used to calculate net (underlying) operating earnings per share is now effectively 1,516 million.