A well-known provincewide telethon in Saskatchewan will be the beneficiary of a new program for odd-lot owners of shares in Canada’s biggest grain company.
Viterra on Thursday announced a new small shareholder charity program, under which owners of 99 or fewer of the company’s publicly traded shares can donate them to the Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation in return for a charitable donation tax receipt without incurring brokerage fees.
Regina-based Viterra also said it will match any share donations made through the program to a maximum of $100,000.
The program will run until Jan. 31, 2012 and is open to eligible Viterra shareholders owning 99 or fewer common TSX-listed shares as of July 7, 2011.
An eligible shareholder can expect to see a form for the program in the mail at the end of July along with his or her dividend cheque, the company said. Those acting as an executor, administrator, trustee, guardian or attorney will also be able to donate shares to the program on behalf of an eligible shareholder.
Publicly traded companies, Viterra included, regularly run odd-lot programs in which they buy back small lots of shares or allow odd-lot shareholders to buy more and bring their holdings up to an even “board lot” of 100 shares without incurring related fees.
Such programs are meant to help companies limit the maintenance costs and administrative hassles of small or odd-lot shareholdings such as mailing out dividend cheques, quarterly reports and proxy materials.
Viterra CEO Mayo Schmidt on Thursday described the Telemiracle program as a “creative” way for odd-lot shareholders to donate easily to a “very worthwhile” cause.
The Saskatoon-based Kinsmen Telemiracle Foundation’s primary fundraiser is the annual Telemiracle telethon, a 20-hour event broadcast live on CTV stations provincewide, featuring local- and international-level entertainers. The 2011 event raised $4.64 million.
“Funds donated through this unique program will help Saskatchewan people that require special needs equipment or access to medical attention who have nowhere else to turn,” event chairman Craig McGillivray said in Viterra’s release Thursday.
A cheque presentation for funds raised through this program, including the company’s matching contribution, is to be made at the 36th annual Telemiracle, scheduled for March 3-4, 2012 at Regina’s Conexus Arts Centre.