Having read all the posts, I would agree that the Return of Capital schedule is weird; I would have preferred half helpings every year.I also had a look at Persimmon's cash flow statement in their latest accounts, and that shows that in 2011 they repaid £178 million debt and in 2010 £227 million. In 2011 they paid £11 million interest and in 2010 £30 million.So that is capital financing charges of £189 million in 2011 that they won't be paying in future. 10 years worth of that is roughly equal to the amount they propose to return to shareholders, so I would have thought it's pretty clear how they intend to finance those big payments. I don't think you can predict with any certainty what's going to happen over the course of a decade, but I wouldn't mind betting that in their discussions the Persimmon board took the view that they had zeroed their debt (£712 million in 2008) in the teeth of a ghastly recession and that things aren't going to get any worse in the next 10 years than they have been in the last three, and might in fact get better instead. So they can afford to give that money to shareholders, and by pre-empting where that money goes they avoid the temptation of wasting it somewhere else.It might also be worth noting that at the end of 2010 the Chairman had a beneficial interest in 2.125 million shares, the Chief Executive 1.148 million shares, and the Finance Director 0.473 million shares. Presumably they receive dividends in respect of these shares, so they have a big motive for getting this strategy right.As Bree says, we might find out more on the BBC News Channel tonight - I shall be watching with great interest as I have 180 Persimmon shares.Midge
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