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Capital structure

As of March 31, 2019 the capital of Sonova Holding AG comprised the following:

  2019 2018 2017
Ordinary capital (in CHF) 3,266,544 3,266,544 3,271,144
Total shares 65,330,887 65,330,887 65,422,887
Conditional capital (in CHF) 266,107 266,107 266,107
Conditional shares 5,322,133 5,322,133 5,322,133

Changes in capital

Of the 8,000,000 maximum approved conditional shares, a total of 5,978,987 shares with a par value of CHF 0.05 each was issued prior to FY 2018/19. Starting in FY 2014/15 Sonova decided to purchase shares on the market to fulfill its obligations under the long-term incentive plans and not to issue shares out of the conditional share capital. The maximum conditional share capital reserved for long-term incentive plans therefore remained unchanged at 2,021,013 shares.

The conditional share capital of 3,301,120 registered shares, which was created on July 7, 2005 in order to increase the company’s financial flexibility, has not yet been used.

Share buyback program

On August 31, 2018, Sonova announced a new share buyback program that started in October 2018. The program is targeted to buy back shares worth up to CHF 1.5 billion and runs up to 36 months. The buyback is conducted via a separate trading line on the SIX Swiss Exchange. The shares are repurchased for the purpose of a capital reduction, subject to approval by future Annual General Shareholders’ Meetings.

As of March 31, 2019, Sonova has repurchased a total of 932,750 registered shares through this buyback program (equivalent to 1.4277% of the share capital at the beginning of the program) for a total amount of CHF 157.8 million at an average purchase price of CHF 169.16 per share. Maintaining a conservative financial policy, Sonova expects to have sufficient funds to further invest in R&D and capital expenditure, to expand the Group’s distribution network and market reach, and to undertake bolt-on acquisitions in addition to the new share buyback program. In the event of an attractive larger acquisition opportunity, the program can be suspended.

The transactions conducted as part of the share buyback program are available at www.sonova.com/en/investors/share-buyback-programs.