Investment Matters

The how and why of share consolidations

In recent weeks, two of the companies you own - Threat Protect and TZ Limited - have undertaken share consolidations.

A share consolidation occurs when a company decreases the number of shares it has on issue.  This causes the share price to increase proportionally, so that the value of each shareholders' holding remains unchanged relative to the market capitalisation of the company.

Threat Protect is conducting a 7 shares to 1 share (7:1) consolidation.

TZ is conducting a 10 shares to 1 share (10:1) consolidation.

Why?

Technically nothing really changes.  E.g. a company earns $100 and has 1000 shares on issue.  You own 100 of those shares.  The company’s EPS is 10 cents.  Your portion of the earnings is $10.

Now, the company does a 10:1 share consolidation.  All else being equal, it still earns $100.  There are now 100 shares on issue.  Your 100 shares are now consolidated into 10 shares.  The company’s EPS is $1, and your portion of the earnings is still $10.

So, why do companies do share consolidations?  Generally, there is greater interest in a company’s shares post-consolidation.  This may be partly psychological; a company may feel more solid if it has a share price say above $10 (which is crazy really).  And some institutional investors may even have a mandate to invest only in shares above a particular price point (also a crazy decision point as to whether to invest in a company!).

First Samuel administration on consolidations

A share consolidation is booked on to First Samuel’s system as a sale and a repurchase.

As an example, you purchased 1000 shares, costing $1000 ($1 per share).  On the effective day of a 10:1 consolidation, your account would sell those original 1000 shares and buy new 100 shares, for $10 each (the total cost remains the same).

Importantly, the effective trade date of the repurchase remains the same date as the original purchase date.  Thus the capital gains tax base is unchanged (i.e. losses or gains are carried through, and no CGT sale event has occurred as a result of the consolidation).

Please note that if a number of purchases of the company doing the consolidation have been made (e.g. three purchases being an initial purchase, a rights offer, and a top-up purchase), then three sets of buy/sell transactions will appear on your statements.  This is done as each purchase transaction has its own CGT purchase date, and so it is essential for CGT reporting integrity.  This may, however, make the transaction reports you access through the portal appear a little cumbersome.