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Rio Tinto trims debt by US$1.5B via buyback

Rio Tintowill see its near-term debt trimmed by US$1.5billion after purchasing US$141 million of debt under its Dutch auctionoffer, and US$1.36 billion under the anyand all offer, which ended late April.

According to a May 5 news release, the Dutch auction offer wasoversubscribed May 4 and the company will not accept more of these securities beyondUS$141 million.

The company previously noted that what is left of the earmarkedUS$1.5 billion after repurchasingthe 2017 bonds will be used to buy back Dutch auction securities, which includeits US$1.75 billion of 6.500% notes and US$1.25 billion of 2.250% notes due 2018.

In the Dutch auction, the company will repurchase US$80.2 millionof its 6.500% notes and US$60.5 million of its 2.250% notes, both maturing in 2018.

The company will pay US$1,104.17 per US$1,000 worth of the 6.500%notes due 2018, and US$1,015.01 per US$1,000 worth of the 2.250% notes due 2018.

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. and RBC CapitalMarkets acted at lead dealer managers for the offer, with BMO Capital Markets, CIBCWorld Markets, nabSecurities and TD Securities (USA) LLC as co-dealer managers.

Earlier during the day, the company said it "at the moment" toexpand its iron ore output beyond the 360 million-tonnes-per-annum capacity of itsrail and port infrastructure in Australia.