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Rio Tinto shares details of new buy-back programme

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Coal,

Today, Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto unveiled details of how it intends to return approximately AUS$3.2 billion of post-tax coal disposal proceeds to its shareholders. 

The proceeds are reportedly to be returned through a AUS$3.2 billion share buy-back programme, combining an off-market buy-back tender targeting up to 41.2 million Rio Tinto Ltd shares (approximately AUS$2.7 billion (AUS$1.9 billion) and further on-market purchases of Rio Tinto plc shares. The programme is subject to market conditions and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Rio Tinto’s CEO, J-S Jacques, said: “Returning AUS$3.2 billion of coal disposal proceeds demonstrates our commitment to capital discipline and providing sector leading shareholder returns. We continue to focus our portfolio on those assets which provide the highest returns and growth, which will ensure that we continue to deliver superior value to our shareholders in the short, medium and long term”.

Rio Tinto is aiming to complete the off-market purchase of up to 41.2 million of its shares in 2018, being the maximum number of shares that may be repurchased by Rio Tinto Ltd under the Buy-Back in accordance with the terms of the shareholder approval granted at Rio Tinto Ltd’s 2018 annual general meeting. The aggregate maximum consideration and timing of the new on-market purchases by Rio Tinto plc under the programme will be announced following the completion of the off-market buy-back tender for Rio Tinto Ltd shares, which is expected to be on 12 November 2018. This is in addition to the existing Rio Tinto plc buy-back programmes, of which AUS$1.7 billion in shares remain to be purchased and which will be completed no later than 27 February 2019.

All shares purchased will be cancelled.

The AUS$3.2 billion of net disposal proceeds is derived from the completed sales of Hail Creek and Valeria (pre-tax AUS$1.7 billion), Winchester South (pre-tax AUS$0.2 billion) and Kestrel (pre-tax AUS$2.25 billion). The sale of Rio Tinto’s Aluminium Dunkerque smelter in northern France for AUS$500 million, subject to final adjustments, is yet to be completed.

 As announced on 14 September, Hydro has withdrawn its offer to acquire the ISAL smelter in Iceland (AUS$345 million) following initial feedback from the European Commission. The timing and form of shareholder returns in respect of further proceeds arising from disposals still to be completed will be announced with the 2018 full year results.

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