Source AP ©

Philips to buy back 5B dollars of shares

Royal Philips Electronics NV said announced Wednesday a buyback up to 5 billion euros (7.2 billion dolalrs) of its own shares.

The company has made a series of relatively minor acquisitions since selling an 80.1 percent stake in its computer chip division to private equity investors for EUR6.4 billion last year, but said the buyback was needed "to achieve its goal of an efficient balance sheet before the end of 2009."

Shares rose 1.4 percent to EUR30.43 (US$43.82) in Amsterdam.

Besides, Philips announced that it would sell its television set top box operations to Pace Micro Technology PLC in exchange for a 23 percent stake in the British company – around EUR90 million (US$130 million; 64 million pounds).