Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) shareholders approved the sale of a suite of Australian coal assets to China-backed Yancoal Australia (ASX: YAL) for $2.69 billion, ending a bidding war with commodities trader Glencore PLC (LON: GLEN). The sale was approved by 97% of shareholders of Rio Tinto’s UK and Australian-listed shares. Funds from the sale had yet to be allocated within the company amid some calls by shareholders to use the money to boost dividends or buy back shares. Rio Tinto, which has dual primary stock listings in Australia and Britain, confirmed Yancoal as the preferred buyer on June 26 after Yancoal topped Glencore’s offer of $2.675 billion. Yancoal is a 78% owned subsidiary of Yanzhou Coal Mining Co, which is 56% owned and controlled by a Chinese state-owned enterprise, Yankuang Group. Further, Rio Tinto has successfully completed its bond tender and redemption exercises announced on 22 May 2017 and has reduced gross debt by a further $2.5 billion. Notably, since the start of 2016, it has reduced the nominal value of outstanding bonds from approximately $21 billion to about $9.5 billion.