BIC AND EXANE BNP PARIBAS PIONEER THE FIRST EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE (ESG) SHARE BUYBACK PROGRAM
BIC today announced it will partner with Exane BNP Paribas to launch the first European ESG Impact Share Buyback Program, allocating funds to J-PAL, the global research center working to reduce poverty, and to the BIC Corporate Foundation for Education.
This innovative program is part of BIC's Capital Allocation policy to fund profitable growth and create value for all stakeholders. The ESG component is consistent with BIC's values, vision and mission to act as a responsible corporate citizen.
Part of the funds will be allocated to the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), the global research center led by professors Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Ben Olken. The projects will focus on education, including reducing school dropout, promoting soft skills, and reducing inequalities. Funds will also be allocated to further support the BIC Corporate Foundation for Education.
"Since its creation, BIC has maintained a strong commitment to Education throughout the world, including our Writing the Future, Together commitment to improve lives through education, and the BIC Corporate Foundation for Education. We are proud to pioneer this Impact Share Buyback program with Exane BNP Paribas in support of the work of J-PAL. In an environment where long-term sustainability and corporate purpose become increasingly meaningful for companies, this innovative program is a catalyst to genuine long-term stakeholder value creation," said Gonzalve Bich, BIC's Chief Executive Officer.
“This generous contribution will allow us to extend the progress we have made in evaluating the relative effectiveness of different measures for promoting skills development and high-quality education opportunities for all,” said J-PAL co-founder and co-director Esther Duflo.
"This Impact Share Buyback illustrates BNP Paribas' willingness to help its clients innovate and develop in a sustainable manner, across all BNP Paribas activities, including Strategic Equity” said Barbara Genicot, Head of Strategic Equity Corporate Sales France, Benelux & Switzerland at BNP Paribas. “We are proud to be able to accompany BIC and to support the research work of the J-PAL lab” added Benedicte Thibord, Head of Corporate Broking and Business Development at Exane BNP Paribas.
Approved by BIC's Board of Directors, the program will be executed in 2021, depending on market conditions. It is consistent with BIC’s Capital Allocation Policy announced on 10 November 2020, which is comprised of:
- Investment into operations to sustain organic growth
- Targeted acquisitions to strengthen existing activities and develop in adjacent categories,
- Sustainable return to Shareholders, with an objective of ordinary dividend pay-out ratio in the range of 40% to 50% of Normalized EPS, and regular share buybacks.
This share buyback will be executed under the authorization given by SOCIETE BIC Annual Shareholder Meeting on 20 May 2020. The outperformance. in purchasing the shares will be allocated to J-PAL, and the BIC Corporation Foundation for Education. More details on the size and the duration of the share buyback program will be provided in early 2021.