Billiton name to disappear from BHP

18 May, 2017, 01:06 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Image Screenshot from BHP’s new TV campaign

Elliott Advisors wants to dissolve BHP's costly dual-listed structure and have its assets transferred to a new company that would be incorporated and listed in Britain.

BHP has destroyed about $31 billion in value through its foray into US shale and failed petroleum exploration as well as a further $9 billion in poorly timed share buybacks, Elliott said in a letter to the company's board.

Elliott, run by billionaire Paul Singer, has accused BHP of adopting a "do nothing" approach to its three-pronged proposal.

BHP Chief External Affairs Officer, Geoff Healy said "In launching Think Big, we will take the opportunity to change our logo and move to a brand that Australians have known us by for generations - BHP".

BHP Billiton has unveiled plans to rebrand itself by dropping the Billiton from its name, a shift that highlights the mining group's Australian roots.

BHP rejects Elliott's claim that it has been misleading in responding to proposals and will review and reply to the letter as appropriate, the company said in an emailed statement.

Elliott has complained of BHP's "chronic underperformance" since it began its assault earlier this year, but has rowed back on earlier calls for the mining giant to have its main listing in London.

"We are confident that continued delivery of these plans, from our stronger base today, could grow the value of our company by up to 50 per cent and nearly double the return on capital", he said.

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Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Metals, Mining & Steel Conference in Spain, chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said BHP had made consistent progress in the previous year on its plans to improve shareholder value.

BHP had no immediate comment on the latest proposal.

Major growth projects valued at up to US$25 billion offer potential average returns of over 16 per cent at consensus prices.

BHP's top executive also answered questions during a webcast.

Technology programs to improve safety, lower costs and unlock resource with an unrisked value of up to US$12 billion are among the most capital efficient options in the portfolio. BHP will continue to look at divesting some shale acreage, he said, even as it believes the assets are "well-placed for the future".

Mackenzie said technology programs to improve safety, lower costs and unlock resource with an unrisked value of up to USA $12 billion were among the most capital efficient options in the portfolio.

"As we now see it, we're looking at a phased expansion into Jansen with an initial stage of four million tonnes per annum, and that will generate competitive returns", Mackenzie told the conference.

BHP Billiton PLC has 5,322,000,000 shares outstanding at the moment which are trading around 1183 bringing BHP Billiton PLC's market capitalisation to 62.96B GBP. Its share price was above $60 per share as recently as 2014.

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