Scout24 can afford leverage ratio of up to 3.5 for buybacks: CEO

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German classifieds group Scout24 (G24n.DE) can cope with a higher long-term leverage ratio of up to 3.5 times core earnings to fund greater capital return to shareholders, CEO Tobias Hartmann said on Tuesday.

The increase in long-term leverage acknowledges a call by U.S. activist investment fund Elliott to return more capital to shareholders than a 300 million euros ($337 million) buyback proposed by management.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Tassilo Hummel

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