Qantas reveals share buy-back plans

Qantas reveals share buy-back plans
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Qantas will repay $650 million in debt ahead of schedule and invest up to $100 million in a share buy-back scheme, in an effort to “return value” to shareholders.

The share buy-back, expected to begin in December, represents approximately 4% of Qantas’ shares on issue.

Chairman Leigh Clifford said the move comes on the back of continued progress with the airline’s turnaround strategy and cash inflows from recent transactions.

“The board believes the current Qantas share price does not reflect fair value of the group, particularly considering the underlying strength of its domestic, loyalty and Jetstar businesses and the proposed partnership with Emirates,” he said.

Clifford stressed the group was “well positioned” to deliver long term shareholder value.

“The share buy-back and accelerated debt reduction reflect the Board’s goal of returning value to shareholders and maintaining a strong balance sheet, as well as retaining flexibility to pursue current growth initiatives,” he said.

The accelerated debt reduction involves the repayment of all outstanding 5.125% notes, originally due in June 2013 but now expected for completion in January 2013. The repayment forms part of a $1 billion debt reduction program for the group in the 2013 financial year.

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