Rio Tinto to Buy Back $1.359 Billion of 2017 Bonds

Rio Tinto Group will buy back $1.359 billion of bonds as it seeks to reduce its debt load.

The world’s second largest mining company is repurchasing $339 million of 2 percent notes due next year and $1.02 billion of 1.625 percent securities that also mature in 2017, both at premiums to their face value, it said in a statement Thursday. The company said in an April 21 repurchase offer that it would buy back bonds due in 2018 to take the total to $1.5 billion.

Rio Tinto laid out blueprints for spending cuts in February that included slashing its dividend in response to plunging commodity prices. That didn’t prevent Moody’s Investors Service from lowering its ratings for the miner on Feb. 24 to Baa1, the third-lowest investment grade.

Officials at London-based Rio Tinto declined to comment on the buyback.

(Corrects to remove reference to buyback target amount of 2017 notes.)
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