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Luise V. Hanson, widow of Winnebago Industries Inc. founder John K. Hanson, died Sunday (Oct. 19) at the age of 90, and Winnebago executives announced today (Oct. 20) the company would buy back 1.45 million Hanson family-owned shares.
“Our sympathies go out to the Hanson family,” said Bruce Hertzke, chairman, president and CEO of the motorhome manufacturing company. “She played an invaluable role in Winnebago Industries’ history and will be truly missed.”
The Hanson family agreed today to sell 1.45 million Winnebago shares controlled by Hanson Capital Partners LLC back to Winnebago at a 15% discount.
Winnebago will pay $44.12 per share, or a total of about $64 million, for the shares. Winnebago stock closed at $51.91 a share in New York Stock Exchange-trading Friday (Oct. 17).
The terms of the transaction were revealed after the stock market closed today.
Winnebago executives did not describe how the firm would raise the $64 million to pay the Hansons. However, the company said last week that, as of Aug. 30, it had $99.4 million in cash on its balance sheet and no debt.
The Hanson stock buy-back will reduce the number of outstanding Winnebago shares by 8% to 16.78 million,. The Hanson family will continue to own 3.85 million Winnebago shares, or 22.9% of the company.
John K. Hanson, who founded the predecessor to Winnebago Industries as an economic development initiative for his hometown of Forest City, Iowa, died in 1996 at age 83.