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Aegon to buy back 20 million shares as firm pays dividend

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(Bloomberg) — Aegon NV, the Dutch owner of U.S. insurer Transamerica Corp., plans to repurchase more than 20 million shares to help counter the effect of a stock dividend.

The share buybacks will begin Sept. 16 and could be completed by Oct. 14, the Hague-based company said Tuesday in a statement. The firm said that 43 percent of shareholders chose to receive this year’s interim dividend in stock, and will get one share for every 45 held.

Aegon, which has been preparing for stricter capital demands next year, said in August that it lowered its estimated range for solvency under new capital retirement rules. The firm has also said that it’s reviewing its U.K. operations to see whether the unit fits the company’s goals.

The firm bought back more than 16 million shares earlier this year at an average price of 6.63 euros apiece to neutralize the effect of a dividend. About 42 percent of shareholders opted to receive that stock dividend.

Aegon gained 1.7 percent to 5.41 euros in Amsterdam trading, and has declined 14 percent this year.