The Board of Directors of Thor Industries Inc. will ask the corporation’s shareholders to grant it the authority to issue up to 210 million more shares of Thor common stock to, among other things, possibly finance more acquisitions.
The vote on whether to grant the authority is scheduled for Thor’s annual shareholders meeting in New York City on Dec. 9. Only Thor shareholders of record at the close of business on Oct. 21 can vote on the proposal.
As of Oct. 1, there were about 28.6 million shares of Thor stock outstanding and the board currently has the authority to raise the total number of outstanding shares to 40 million, according to the Proxy Statement Thor filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission on Friday (Oct. 10).
In its proxy, Thor’s management wrote that the board could use additional shares of the company’s stock “to effect future stock dividends or stock splits, to raise capital through the sale of securities, to acquire another company or its business or assets through the issuance of securities, to establish a strategic relationship with a corporate partner through the exchange of securities or for issuance under the company’s stock incentive plans.”
If authority to increase shares is granted, the board would be able to act quickly if an opportunity arises. However, Thor’s board also reported in the proxy statement that “the company has no present plans or proposals to issue the additional authorized shares.”
Thor’s board voted unanimously to recommend that shareholders vote on Dec. 9 to approve the authorization to issue the additional shares.
Thor is a New York Stock Exchange-listed firm with the largest market capitalization in the RV industry – $1.83 billion. Its market capitalization is almost double that of No. 2 Winnebago Industries Inc., which currently is at $961 million.
The stocks of Thor and Winnebago both established new 52-week highs in NYSE trading today (Oct. 13).
Thor’s stock gained $1.20 a share to close at $63.90. Earlier in today’s session, Thor’s stock had climbed as high as $64.60, surpassing the previous 52-week high of $63.50 established last week.
Meanwhile, Winnebago’s stock gained $1.14 a share today to close at $52.95. Earlier in today’s session, Winnebago’s stock climbed as high as $53.50, surpassing the previous 52-week high of $51.95 set on Friday.
Wade Thompson, 63, Thor’s chairman, president and CEO, is Thor’s largest shareholder. Thompson, who co-founded the firm in 1980, owns a little more than 8.7 million shares of Thor stock, or 30.5% of the company.
Thompson has expanded Thor largely through acquisitions, beginning with Airstream in 1980. Last month, Thor completed the acquisition of Class A motorhome manufacturer Damon Motor Coach. Dutchmen, Keystone and Komfort are among Thor’s other significant RV industry acqusitions.