Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), an operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, announced today that its Board of Directors has approved pursuing an effective five-for-one stock split of ICE’s common stock that will be distributed in the form of a four share stock dividend per share. The proposal is subject to both Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and stockholder approval of the adoption of an amendment and restatement to ICE’s Certificate of Incorporation to increase the authorized shares of common stock and capital stock.
ICE also announced its third quarter dividend of $0.85 per share, which is payable on Sept. 30, 2016 to holders as of Sept. 16, and an ex-dividend date of Sept. 14.
Additionally, the ICE Board authorized $1 billion for future stock repurchases.
“This announcement reflects our consistently strong growth in earnings and cash flow generation, as well as our commitment to returning capital as we build on our decade-long track record of earnings growth,” said ICE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey C. Sprecher. “In addition to highlighting ICE’s consistent earnings and share price growth, we believe the stock split will support liquidity in our stock in a highly fragmented marketplace, while making shares more accessible to a broader investor base.”
Scott A. Hill, ICE’s CFO added, “We continue to deploy our strong cash flow to de-lever, with a focus on our investment grade rating, while investing in growth initiatives, executing on M&A, and returning over $2 billion to stockholders since December 2013. Our disciplined approach to growth includes a focus on generating sector-leading returns on invested capital and prudent capital return, which includes a meaningful share repurchase program and a dividend that grows as our earnings grow.”
A special meeting of ICE stockholders is expected to be held on Oct. 12, 2016 to obtain stockholder approval of the adoption of an amendment and restatement to ICE’s Certificate of Incorporation. Additional details regarding the special meeting and stock split will be provided when available. SEC approval of the amendment will also be required as a result of ICE’s operation of a national securities exchange. Following SEC and stockholder approval, the ICE Board intends to declare the stock split and set a record date and distribution date for the stock dividend in the fourth quarter.