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Western to buy back shares, expands in Alberta


May 4, 2004   by Canadian Underwriter


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Alberta-based Western Financial Group Inc. (TSX: WES) says it will make a bid to repurchase shares and debentures through the Toronto exchange.
The company will buy back up to 918,265 of its common shares, or 5% of the outstanding and issued shares as of April 27. It will also repurchase up to $548,715 in aggregate principal amount, representing 5% of its outstanding 9% convertible unsecured subordinated debentures. The shares and debentures repurchased will then be cancelled.
Over the past 12 months, the company has purchased more than 93,000 of its common shares at an average $2.69 each, and almost $144,000 in debentures, at $112 each.
The shares traded Monday at around $2.85 and the debentures at $118.
The company has also announced expansion of its Taber, Alberta office with the acquisition of certain assets of Robinson Agencies. The acquisition, including its employees and clients, will be rolled into Western’s South Country Agencies.
As well, Western has acquired farm insurance agency Fabian Insurance Services Ltd. of Tilley, Alberta. Fabian will be rolled into Western’s WKB/Newell Agencies in Brooks, Alberta.


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