The board of Tenneco Inc has approved an equity repurchase programme, covering up to 400,000 shares of the company's outstanding common stock. The repurchase, which can take place over the coming 12 months, is intended to offset dilution from shares of restricted stock and stock options issued to employees in 2011. The latter was done under Tenneco's long-term compensation plan.

"It is the right time to begin capital returns to our shareholders given the substantial progress we have made in improving our financial position," said Gregg Sherrill, chairman and CEO of Illinois-based Tenneco. "At the same time, we remain committed to further improving our financial strength, and investing in our strategic initiatives - from new technologies and products to our global footprint - so that Tenneco remains well-positioned to take advantage of organic and other growth opportunities."

Tenneco intends to purchase the shares through privately negotiated or market transactions. The repurchase programme does not obligate Tenneco to make repurchases at any specific time or situation.