BHP, the mining and metals firm based in Melbourne, has revealed intentions to return shareholders with AU$14.7bn (US$10.4bn).
The money will be returned through the combination of an off-market buy-back and a special dividend.
“We made a commitment that all the net proceeds from the disposal of our onshore US assets would be returned to shareholders and we are honouring that commitment now that the sale transactions have been completed,” stated Andrew Mackenzie, CEO of BHP.
“Returning this $US10.4bn will bring the total cash returned to shareholders to $US21 billion over the last two years.”
The programme launches with immediate effect, with the financing sourced from the sale of the company’s US onshore shale oil and gas assets.
The assets were sold to BP for US$10.5bn – the deal was confirmed in July earlier this year.
“Consistent with our Capital Allocation Framework, the Board has carefully considered how best to return the net proceeds to our shareholders,” Mackenzie continued.
“We believe that the off-market buy-back and special dividend program announced today will return significant value to all our shareholders, allowing the entire BHP global shareholder base to participate, both directly and indirectly, in the shareholder return program.”