Marvel Enterprises, Inc. has announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a $100 million common stock repurchase program. Marvel plans to purchase shares from time to time in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions over the next 18 months. Top Marvel stockholders including Vice Chairman Isaac Perlmutter and Marvel Studios' CEO Avi Arad have agreed not to sell any shares while the repurchase program is in place. Marvel has no obligation to repurchase shares under the authorization, and the timing, actual number, and value of the shares to be purchases will depend on the performance of Marvel's stock price and market conditions. Currently Marvel has about 115 million fully-diluted shares outstanding and has an approximate public float of 85 million shares.
The stock repurchase program comes on the heels of Marvel's redemption of its long-term debt last month. Marvel currently has over $150 million in cash, certificates of deposit and commercial paper. Without the share repurchases (or possible acquisitions) Marvel estimates that it would have over $200 million in cash on hand at the end of 2004.