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US drug maker, Bristol-Myers Squibb, has announced that its board of directors have approved the repurchase of $3bn in common stock.

The buyback plan adds to the active $3bn programme announced in May 2010, under which the company has $340m remaining.

Bristol-Myers said the stock repurchase programme does not have an expiration date, but is expected to take place over the next couple of years.

The acquisitions may be made either in the open market or through private transactions.

The company said it remains committed to paying its regular dividend to its shareholders.

In a statement made today, the board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.34 a share on the $0.10 par value common stock of the corporation.

The dividend will be payable on 1 August 2012 to stockholders of record at the close of business on 6 July 2012.

The directors also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.50 per share on the $2.00 Convertible Preferred Stock of the corporation, payable 4 September 2012 to stockholders of record at the close of business on 10 August 2012.

Photo: Bristol-Myers Squibb facility in New Jersey, US. Photo courtesy of: Bristol-Myers Squibb.