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Citigroup Buys Stock From Its Chairman

October 03, 2003|From Bloomberg News

Citigroup Inc. bought $264 million of its stock from Chairman Sanford Weill on Thursday, the day after he stepped down as chief executive of the world's largest financial company.

Citigroup said it paid Weill $47.14 a share for 5.6 million shares -- a quarter of his total holdings in the firm.

The New York-based company's stock rose 25 cents to close at a 52-week high of $47.25 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Companies sometimes buy big blocks of stock directly from key shareholders rather than allow the shares to be sold in the open market, where a large sale could push down the price.

Citigroup said its board granted an exception to the firm's policy on buying shares from employees. The company said it gave Weill a sale price that was the day's volume-weighted average price.

Citigroup said Weill made the sale "to facilitate his financial planning" after leaving the company's executive post. He previously agreed to hold at least 75% of his total 22.3-million-share stake in Citigroup for as long as he remained a member of the firm's board.

Weill announced Sept. 16 that he would step down this week, which was three months earlier than planned. He was succeeded as CEO by Charles Prince, formerly chairman of the company's global corporate and investment banking division.

Weill, 70, earned $1.1 billion, mostly in stock option grants, in his 15-year career building up Citigroup, said Bloomberg News executive compensation expert Graef Crystal.

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