The board of Smart Balance, the US maker of "heart healthy" foods, has authorised a two-year share buyback programme of up to US$25m.

"The repurchase program demonstrates the confidence we have in the prospects of our company and shows our commitment to deliver long-term value for all of our shareholders, while at the same time making prudent use of funds," said Stephen Hughes, Smart Balance chairman and CEO.

Any purchases under Smart Balance's repurchase programme may be made from time to time in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions beginning in 2010, the company said yesterday (16 December).

The stock purchase plan will expire on 31 December 2011 unless extended by the board of directors.