US food group JM Smucker adopted a shareholder rights plan on Wednesday (20 May) to replace the previous plan adopted in 1999.

Under the new plan, Smucker will distribute rights as a dividend to its shareholders at the rate of one right for each common share held of record on 2 June 2009.

“The company’s board of directors today authorised the plan after thoughtful and thorough analysis and consideration. The adoption of the plan remains consistent with our basic belief of independence,” said Tim Smucker, chairman and co-CEO.

Under the plan, the rights will initially trade together with the company’s common shares and will not be exercisable. The board of directors may, at its option, redeem all rights for US$0.001 per right, generally at any time prior to the rights becoming exercisable. The rights will expire on 2 June 2019, unless earlier redeemed, exchanged, or amended.

Richard Smucker, the company’s executive chairman and co-CEO said: “Our board of directors and senior management continue to believe that the long-term interests of the company and all of its constituents have been, and will continue to be, best served by the stewardship of the company’s family of leading icon brands by a management team led by the Smucker family.”

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