QR National Limited (“QRN”) today announced the intention to undertake an on-market buy-back of up 10% of its issued share capital (244 million shares).
The buy-back demonstrates a commitment to managing the company’s balance sheet efficiently, whilst maintaining appropriate flexibility to invest in future growth opportunities.
The Company expects that the buy-back will be Earnings Per Share (EPS) accretive for shareholders.
QR National’s net debt of $1.1 billion as at 30 June 2012 is materially below that expected at the time of Initial Public Offer, driven by efficient management of capital expenditure, a focus on return-accretive projects and the timing of major projects.
The buy-back, which will be funded through existing debt facilities, will increase the efficiency of the Company’s balance sheet and improve its cost of capital, whilst retaining credit metrics consistent with QR National’s current investment grade rating.
QR National remains focused on investigating and delivering growth opportunities for Australia’s resources supply chain, and retains strong flexibility to pursue and fund these opportunities. Funding structures for major projects will be influenced by the ongoing efficient management and diversification of QR National’s balance sheet as well as the risk and return profile provided to QR National and its shareholders.
QR National has available a range of sustainable funding solutions that will secure our leadership position in providing resource infrastructure in Australia whilst optimising returns to QR National shareholders.
Managing Director & CEO Lance Hockridge said: “The buy-back reflects a strong balance sheet and is a key capital management initiative in creating shareholder value in our Company.
“QR National remains absolutely committed to its growth strategy and will continue to execute on the wide range of growth opportunities available to it, especially in the resources sector.”
The buy-back will commence no earlier than 14 days after the date of this announcement and end no later than 12 months from the date of this announcement. The timing and actual number of shares purchased under the buy-back will depend on the prevailing share price, market conditions and other considerations, and all shares purchased under the buy-back will be cancelled.
QR National has appointed UBS AG Australia Branch to act as its broker in respect of the buy-back.
QR National reserves the right to suspend or terminate the buy-back at any time, and there is no guarantee that QR National will repurchase the full 244 million shares referred to above.