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Richemont announces 100 to 1 stock-split

Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods group, announces a proposed 100 to 1 split in the nominal value of its equity units. The proposal follows changes to Swiss company law permitting lower nominal values per share. The split, which is subject to shareholder approval at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders to be held on 13 September 2001, will take effect in the fourth quarter of 2001.

Swiss market

Richemont ‘A’ equity units are quoted on the Swiss Exchange (‘the SWX’) and closed at SFrs 4 649.00 per unit on Wednesday 6 June 2001. Based on this price, the proposed split would result in the units trading at SFrs 46.49 per unit on the SWX. Each ‘A’ unit comprises one ‘A’ bearer share of SFrs 100.00 nominal value issued by Compagnie Financière Richemont AG indivisibly twinned with a bearer participation certificate of no par value issued by Richemont SA, Luxembourg. The proposed split would result in the reduction in the nominal value of the ‘A’ share to SFrs 1.00. The number of ‘A’ units would, in consequence, be increased from 5 220 000 to 522 000 000, involving a corresponding increase in the number of Richemont SA participation certificates. Richemont ‘B’ units, which are not listed, will also be split in the same ratio.

South African Depositary Receipts

In addition to its Swiss listing, Richemont South African Depositary Receipts (SADRs) are quoted on the JSE Securities Exchange South Africa (‘the JSE’). The SADRs currently trade in the ratio of 100 SADRs to each underlying ‘A’ unit. It is proposed to consolidate the ratio of SADR’s to ‘A’ units at the same time as the split is effected such that, after the effective date, SADR’s will trade in the ratio of 10 SADRs to each ‘A’ unit.

On Wednesday 6 June 2001, Richemont SADRs closed at Rand 208.60 on the JSE. Based on this price, the proposed change in the ratio of SADRs to ‘A’ units, combined with the effect of the split of the ‘A’ units, would result in an SADR trading at Rand 20.86.

ADR programme

Through The Bank of New York, Richemont also operates a sponsored ADR programme in the United States. Richemont ADRs are traded over the counter in the United States. ADRs currently trade in the ratio of 100 ADRs to one ‘A’ unit. It is proposed that the ADR to ‘A’ unit ratio be amended with effect from the effective date such that one ADR would equal one ‘A’ unit. As the proposed consolidation in the ratio of ADRs to each ‘A’ unit effectively offsets the 100:1 split of the underlying units, the trading range of the ADRs will not be impacted by the split.