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22. Share capital

 
Authorised
Allotted, called up
and fully paid
  2008
£m
2007
£m
2008
£m
2007
£m
Ordinary shares of 50p each 450 450 372 372

Ordinary shares of 50p each
Number
000s
Number
000s
Number
000s
Number
000s
At 1 January 900,000 900,000 743,699 741,513
Shares issued under the share option schemes 205 2,186
At 31 December 900,000 900,000 743,904 743,699

At the last Annual General Meeting, shareholder authority was obtained for the Company to purchase up to a maximum of 70.5 million of its own ordinary shares (representing 10% of the issued share capital of the Company on 31 December 2007) for a period ending on the earlier of the next Annual General Meeting or 1 August 2009, provided that certain conditions (relating to the purchase price) are met. The Notice of Annual General Meeting proposes that shareholders approve a resolution updating and renewing this authority. Shares in the Company may also be purchased by the GKN Employee’s Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) Trust.

At 31 December 2008 there were 38,384,253 ordinary shares of 50p each (nominal value £19.2 million (2007 – £19.3 million)) held as treasury shares. No shares were purchased in the open market during 2008 or 2007. A total of 274,889 shares were transferred out of treasury during 2008 to satisfy the exercise of options by former employees under share option schemes.

The remaining treasury shares, which represented 5.2% (2007 – 5.2%) of the called up share capital at the end of the year, have not been cancelled but are held as treasury shares and represent a deduction from shareholders’ equity.

During the year shares issued under the share option schemes generated less than £1 million (2007 – £5 million).

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