Rio Tinto secures $750m share buy-back

Rio Tinto has completed a $750 million off-market buy-back of the company’s shares, an increase on a $700 million target it had previously set due to strong demand.

The buy-back, at $63.67 a share, was at a 14 per cent discount on Rio’s market price.

Rio announced the buy-back program in September as part of its plan to return the proceeds from the $2.5 billion sale of its Coal & Allied thermal coal division to Yancoal Australia.

The miner bought back around 11.8 million shares for $750 million, which represents 2.78 per cent of its ordinary share capital.

Rio has committed to buy-backs worth more than $4 billion in 2017. Chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques previously said returning the proceeds from the Coal & Allied divestment showed a continued commitment to delivering superior value.

“This year we have announced cash returns to shareholders of $8.2 billion, comprising $4.2 billion of dividends and $4 billion of share buy-backs. Shareholder returns of this scale are made possible by maintaining the strongest balance sheet in the sector and a disciplined capital allocation process,” Jacques said.