Sealaska to distribute shareholder dividend in December

Shareholders for Southeast’s regional Native Corporation can look forward to another dividend payment next month.

Sealaska’s board of directors has approved a dividend distribution of nearly 12-million dollars to the corporation’s more than 20-thousand shareholders.

It’s the second payment this year and will mean $1.02 per share for village and descendant shareholders, and twice that for elders.

Sealaska Chief Investment Officer Anthony Mallott says the dividend reflects losses from the economic downturn.

“The operations distribution and the permanent fund distribution have been in the just over a dollar range, we have now for a couple years, mainly affected by the fact that we average our distributions over a long time period and we’re still averaging the negative effects of 2008 where there were significant losses within our investment portfolio and there were some operational losses as well,” Mallott says

Urban and at-large shareholders also receive $6.12 per share under revenue sharing among Alaska’s regional corporations, required by section “7-i” of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Additional payments are made to the various village corporations that can pass the money on to shareholders or use it for operations.

Dividends are paid from revenue sharing, earnings from a corporation permanent fund as well as earnings off investments and Sealaska’s subsidiary companies. The corporation owns timber, construction and environmental services businesses. It also has invested in plastics manufacturing and information technology.

Mallott anticipates payments could increase as the economy improves.

“One of the long term goals of Sealaska is to create and provide meaningful distributions to their shareholder base and we continually strive for that,” Mallott says. “The amounts recently are probably under our goal if you don’t count the 7i but again we’re working out of the great depression and great recession and we’ll continue to build those distributions to a point where both the winter and spring distributions are meaningful to those shareholders that are in our villages and elsewhere.”

Including last spring’s payment, the corporation’s total dividend this year will be nearly 24-million dollars. Fall dividend payments will be made by direct deposit or U.S. mail around December 8th.