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Rio Tinto eyes US$2.25B debt cut with new program

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Rio Tinto eyes US$2.25B debt cut with new program

Rio Tinto on March 20 announced plans to use excess liquidity to cut gross debt by about US$2.25 billion.

The company issued redemption notices for about US$1.4 billion of its 2021 and 2022 U.S. dollar-denominated notes and launched a cash tender offer to buy back up to US$850 million of its euro-denominated notes due 2020 and 2024.

The mining giant plans to redeem all of the outstanding 4.125% notes due May 2021 and 3.750% notes due September 2021 as well as the 3.500% notes due March 2022 and 2.875% notes due August 2022. The redemption date on these notes will be April 19.

Under the cash tender offer, the company will repurchase the outstanding €750 million in 2% notes due May 2020 and €500 million in 2.875% notes due December 2024. The offer will expire March 27.

Earlier the same day, Glencore PLC announced its acquisition of Rio Tinto's 82% stake in the Hail Creek coal mine and a 71.2% stake in the Valeria coal reserves, both in Queensland, Australia, for US$1.7 billion in cash.