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Imperial: Imperial announces plan to accelerate share purchases under normal course issuer bid

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Imperial Oil Limited (TSE: IMO, NYSE American: IMO) announced today that it plans to accelerate its share purchases under its normal course issuer bid (NCIB). The current NCIB allows Imperial to repurchase up to five percent of its 711,673,439 outstanding common shares as of June 15, 2021, or a maximum of 35,583,671 shares prior to June 28, 2022. This maximum includes shares purchased from Exxon Mobil Corporation (ExxonMobil) outside of, but concurrent with the NCIB to maintain its proportionate share ownership.

As of the end of October 2021, Imperial had repurchased 11,956,028 shares under the NCIB and from ExxonMobil. By accelerating its purchases, Imperial now plans to repurchase the remainder of the maximum number of shares allowed by the end of January, 2022. Based on the weighted average price paid for purchases in October under the NCIB program of $42.70, the acceleration would represent an aggregate return of over $1 billion to participating shareholders from November, 2021 to the end of January, 2022. Actual cost of purchases will be based on prices at the time of purchase in accordance with the NCIB rules. Purchase plans may be modified at any time without prior notice.

Consistent with the company’s balance sheet strength, low capital requirements and strong cash generation, this announcement reflects the company’s priority and capacity to return cash to shareholders. “Imperial continues to be strongly committed to shareholder returns,” said Brad Corson, Imperial chairman, president and chief executive officer. “It starts with a reliable and growing dividend. When we have surplus cash beyond our base dividend, efficient share repurchases through an NCIB has been our first step. After fully utilizing our NCIB, our next step to return surplus cash to shareholders would be a substantial issuer bid or a special dividend and we are actively evaluating these options.”

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