Rio Tinto has successfully completed its off-market buy-back, achieving its share purchase target of approximately 41.2 million Rio Tinto Limited shares, for a total consideration of A$2,871 million (US$2,081 million1). The Buy-Back Price was A$69.69 per Share which represented a discount of 14 per cent to the Market Price2.
Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said “We are delighted to be returning US$2.1 billion to our Rio Tinto Limited shareholders through this off-market buy-back. Strong demand has enabled us to return the maximum amount, and at a discount of 14 per cent. The remaining US$1.1 billion of funds will be returned through our ongoing buy-back of Rio Tinto plc shares. In 2018 we have announced cash returns to shareholders of US$6.4 billion. Our strategic focus, with disciplined allocation of capital, is ensuring that we continue to deliver superior returns to our shareholders in the short, medium and long term.”
The Rio Tinto Limited Buy-Back was announced to the Australian Securities Exchange (“ASX”) on 20 September 2018 as part of a US$3.2 billion share buy-back programme (the “Programme”), returning the post-tax proceeds from the sale of coal assets in 2018 to Rio Tinto shareholders.
Rio Tinto Limited bought back 41,198,134 Shares, at an aggregate cost of A$2,871 million (US$2,081 million). This represents 9.99 per cent of Rio Tinto Limited’s issued ordinary shares (or 2.41 per cent of the Rio Tinto Group’s issued ordinary shares3). Following completion, Rio Tinto Limited’s issued share capital will stand at 371,216,214 shares.
The portion of the Programme relating to the on-market buy-back of Rio Tinto plc shares will now total a maximum amount of US$1,119 million and will commence on 28 February 2019 and will be completed no later than 28 February 2020.
All shares purchased will be cancelled.
Due to the significant oversubscription for the Buy-Back, a 58.27 per cent scale back of Tenders was required. Subject to exclusions set out in the Buy-Back Booklet, shareholders who tendered their shares at a 14 per cent Tender Discount to the Market Price or as a Final Price Tender will have a Priority Allocation of 70 shares bought back before the scale back is applied. Successful shareholders who tendered all of their shares at a 14 per cent tender discount to the Market Price or as a Final Price Tender and who would be left with 30 shares or less as a result of the Priority Allocation and scale back, will have all of their shares bought back in full.
The Buy-Back Price was greater than any Minimum Price and hence these eligible price conditional tenders were included in the scale back calculations. Shares tendered at discounts less than or equal to 13 per cent were not bought back.
All proceeds due under the Buy-Back will be paid in Australian dollars. Proceeds due to shareholders who have recorded on the Share Register a direct credit authority with an Australian bank account are expected to be credited to that account on 19 November 2018. Payment by cheque in Australian dollars will be dispatched by mail on the same date to all other shareholders. Shares that have been tendered into the Buy-Back, but not bought back, are expected to be released to shareholders on 12 November 2018.
1 At transacted rate.
2 Based on the volume weighted average price of Rio Tinto Limited’s ordinary shares traded on the ASX over the five trading days up to and including 9 November 2018, calculated to four decimal places, as determined by Rio Tinto.
3 Based on the aggregate number of issued ordinary shares in Rio Tinto Limited and Rio Tinto plc as at the close of trading on 9 November 2018.