In 2007 and 2008 we operated a share buyback programme aimed at improving share-capital management and giving us greater strategic flexibility.
In December 2007 and during the first two months of 2008 we bought 16.2 million of own shares on the market, corresponding to around 2% of the share capital at a cost of around 213.4 million euro. In September 2009, following a bonus issue, the number of treasury shares increased to 17.01 million. On 30 June 2018, our treasury shares amounted to n. 8,714,833 (the number may change as a result of allocations to employees during the year under the remuneration schemes).
The aim of the buyback programme was to improve our share-capital management in terms of size, composition and cost, while maintaining the overall capital strength of the company and the group in accordance with regulatory provisions.
At the same time, we wanted to give ourselves a powerful way to boost strategic and operational flexibility. The buyback provided us with access to the acquired own shares, making them available for use in acquisitions and mergers and also allowing us to use them in employee remuneration schemes.