By Chris Wack
Starbucks is executing a $5 billion accelerated share repurchase-program in relation to its previously announced plan to return $25 billion to shareholders in the form of share buybacks and dividends through fiscal 2020.
The Seattle-based coffee chain is using proceeds from its recently completed transaction with Nestle S.A. (NESN.EB) to execute the program, which was effective Oct. 1.
Starbucks said the accelerated buyback is expected to be completed as early as February 2019 and no later than March 2019.
In August, Starbucks and Nestle completed a deal granting Nestle global perpetual rights to market Starbucks consumer and food-service products. The agreement covers Starbucks packaged coffee and tea brands, but excludes ready-to-drink products and all sales of products within Starbucks' coffee shops. Nestle in May agreed to pay Starbucks $7.15 billion in cash up front plus royalties as part the license for the business, which has annual sales of $2 billion.
Shares of Starbucks rose 2.5% to $56.25 premarket.
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