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Stelco Holdings Inc. STLC-T is offering to buy back nearly half of its outstanding shares at a price of $35 per share.

Under the substantial issuer bid, the company says it is looking to buy up to 30 million shares or 47.4 per cent of its outstanding shares for a total maximum purchase price of $1.05-billion.

Stelco shares closed at $32.06 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

The terms of the offer are the same as a substantial issuer bid Stelco made earlier this year that saw the company buy back 5,165,133 shares for a total of nearly $181-million.

The company says its board of directors believes the new offer is a prudent use of the company’s financial resources given its business profile and assets, including its substantial level of cash on-hand, and the market price of the shares.

By buying back its shares, a company spreads its profits over fewer shares, increasing its earnings per share, a key ratio used to evaluate a company.

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