NEW YORK — Liz Claiborne Inc. said it will purchase an additional $50 million of its common stock in open market purchases and privately negotiated transactions as market and business conditions warrant.

The shares will be used for the company’s employee stock option plan and for general corporate purposes, Samuel M. Miller, senior vice president of finance, said.

The increase brings to $400 million the amount of stock authorized to be purchased under the program.

As of April 20, 11.6 million shares of common stock had been purchased at an aggregate price of $348 million, the company said. With Claiborne’s close Thursday of 25 1/8, up 7/8 on the New York Stock Exchange, the additional $50 million authorized by the company’s board of directors will buy about 2 million additional shares.

The company has approximately 78.9 million shares outstanding.

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