This excerpt taken from the C DEF 14A filed Jun 18, 2009.
Background and Reasons for the Reverse Stock Split
The board is submitting the Reverse Stock Split to stockholders for approval with the primary intent of increasing the price of our common stock to make our common stock more attractive to a broader range of institutional and other investors. In addition to increasing the price of our common stock, the Reverse Stock Split would also reduce certain of our costs, such as proxy solicitation fees. Accordingly, for these and other reasons discussed below, we believe that effecting the Reverse Stock Split is in Citigroups and our stockholders best interests.
We believe that the Reverse Stock Split will make our common stock more attractive to a broader range of institutional and other investors, as we have been advised that the current market price of our common stock may affect its acceptability to certain institutional investors, professional investors and other members of the investing public. Many brokerage houses and institutional investors have internal policies and practices that either prohibit them from investing in low-priced stocks or tend to discourage individual brokers from recommending low-priced stocks to their customers. In addition, some of those policies and practices may function to make the processing of trades in low-priced stocks economically unattractive to brokers. Moreover, because brokers commissions on low-priced stocks generally represent a higher percentage of the stock price than commissions on higher-priced stocks, the current average price per share of common stock can result in individual stockholders paying transaction costs representing a higher percentage of their total share value than would be the case if the share price were substantially higher. We believe that the Reverse Stock Split will make our common stock a more attractive and cost effective investment for many investors, which will enhance the liquidity of the holders of our common stock.
Reducing the number of outstanding shares of our common stock through the Reverse Stock Split is intended, absent other factors, to increase the per share market price of our common stock. However, other factors, such as our financial results, market conditions and the market perception of our business may adversely affect the market price of our common stock. As a result, there can be no assurance that the Reverse Stock Split, if completed, will result in the intended benefits described above, that the market price of our common stock will increase following the Reverse Stock Split or that the market price of our common stock will not decrease in the future. Additionally, we cannot assure you that the market price per share of our common stock after a Reverse Stock Split will increase in proportion to the reduction in the number of shares of our common stock outstanding before the Reverse Stock Split. Accordingly, the total market capitalization of our common stock after the Reverse Stock Split may be lower than the total market capitalization before the Reverse Stock Split.
In addition to increasing the price of our common stock, we believe that a Reverse Stock Split will provide Citigroup and its stockholders with other benefits. Currently, the fees that we pay to list our shares on the NYSE
are based on the number of shares we have outstanding. Also, the fees that we pay for custody and clearing services, the fees that we pay to the SEC to register securities for issuance and the costs of our proxy solicitations are all based on or related to the number of shares being held, cleared or registered as applicable. Reducing the number of shares that are outstanding and that will be issued in the future may reduce the amount of fees and tax that we pay to these organizations and agencies, as well as other organizations and agencies that levy charges based on the number of shares rather than the value of the shares.