George Weston Directors: Please Buy a Calendar!

On July 30, George Weston announced:

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT a quarterly dividend on George Weston Limited Common Shares, Preferred Shares, Series I, Preferred Shares, Series II, Preferred Shares, Series III, Preferred Shares, Series IV and Preferred Shares, Series V is payable as follows:

Preferred Shares, Series II    –  $0.321875 per share payable October 1, 2007, to shareholders of record September 15, 2007;

Will somebody please buy a calendar and send it to the George Weston board? September 15 is a Saturday.

In such cases, the way to think about the problem for purposes of calculating the ex-Dividend Date is to say … OK. It’s calculated as of 5pm on Saturday. The transfer agent is closed, so there won’t have been any changes to the books between 5pm Friday and 5pm Saturday. Therefore the real record date is Friday September 14; therefore the ex-Date is September 12.

I can understand that, due to sloppiness in preparation of the prospectus, the pay-date must be declared as the first of the month, even when that’s not a business day. But record dates are not even mentioned in the prospectus; there would appear to be no reason not to say the 14th when you mean the 14th … and this would make life a lot simpler, especially for retail.

Update: This goes for you, too, Brookfield!

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