(Alliance News) - Compass Group PLC on Friday said that it has entered a non-discretionary agreement with JP Morgan Securities PLC to allow the purchase of up to a market equivalent of USD250 million company shares.

According to the Chertsey, England-based catering services company, this is the second and final stage of its USD500 million share buyback, announced in November.

The purpose of the buyback is to reduce the share capital of Compass Group by returning surplus capital to shareholders.

In November, the group said that the buyback programme reflected one of its current strategic priorities, which is to invest in future sources of growth, through both mergers & acquisitions and capital expenditure, in order to "enhance our capability and expertise".

Shares in Compass Group were trading fractionally lower at 2,237.10 pence each in London on Friday morning.

By Holly Beveridge, Alliance News senior reporter

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