Elliott Responds To BHP's Approach

16 Mai, 2017, 13:44 | Author: Marc Bacque
  • BHP Billiton plc logo

The funds manager has called for an open and independent review of BHP's petroleum business.

Elliott called on BHP on April 10 to restructure its current corporate structure, which consists of a United Kingdom and an Australian company, and spin off its petroleum unit.

It had also asked BHP's board to improve returns by merging the United Kingdom and Australian entities into a single Australian-headquartered and London-listed company. They are separate legal entities with different investor bases, but are managed as if they were one.

Activist investor Elliott Management renewed calls a shake up at BHP (BHP) Tuesday, claiming broad investor support for its plan to sell some or all of the mining giant's United States oil assets.

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BHP Billiton Ltd (BHP.AX, BLT.L, BBL, BHP) said that it will use a new logo starting Monday, saying simply "BHP" in block letters, dropping Billiton from its name.

Chief executive of the Australian mining giant, Andrew Mackenzie, said the miner was in progress on its ambitious plans to achieve this as outlined last year.Mackenzie said since that time, BHP had made consistent progress and was confident that continued delivery of these plans could grow the value of the company by up to 50 percent and nearly double the return on capital. "Our path is deliberate, with value and returns at the centre of everything we do", Mackenzie said.

BHP spent about $20 billion buying USA shale assets in 2011, including $12 billion for Petrohawk Energy, which owned the Hawkville site, and $4.75 billion for Fayetteville Shale properties from Chesapeake Energy. "The current period of shareholder activism could result in a break-up and/or a significant adjustment of the company's structure", wrote Citi analysts.

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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.

An example would be International Consolidated Airline Group, which resulted from the 2010 merger of British Airways and Iberia.

It instead said BHP's management should work harder to find a solution to the legacy structure, which it said is obsolete and creates a long-running mismatch between the two shares.

In the prior 12 months BHP Billiton PLC's stock price has increased by 46.9% from 810.39 to 1190.5.

Shares in BHP Billiton PLC have risen as high as 1518.5 in the past 52 weeks whilst the lowest price in the last 52 weeks has been 786.4.

BHP said it would review the proposals and dismissed claims that it wasn't open to suggestions.

Elliott has put the cost of unification at $200 million and said BHP's $1.3 billion estimated cost was "flawed and misleading".

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