Mining and Heavy Industries

Elliott continues BHP breakup push

Several Australian industries, including mining, could benefit from big data analysis. Photo: BHP Billiton

BHP investor Elliott Management is upping its push for the mining giant to offload its U.S. oil assets and make other strategic changes, despite being knocked back last month, according to reports.

Elliott, which has accrued a roughly 4% stake in BHP’s London-listed shares over recent months, published a brochure last month criticising the miner for inefficiencies.

Elliott wants BHP to spin off its gas and petroleum assets in the United States, and also suggested a number of other structural changes, including the company’s Australia-London dual listing.

But BHP, led by chief executive Andrew Mackenzie, quickly rejected the push, saying the costs of the proposed changes would strongly outweigh any benefits.

According to several reports, however, Elliott’s bid is far from over.

A Reuters report this week citing two anonymous sources suggested Elliott representatives would meet with BHP’s major Australian shareholders this week, to urge them to join its cause.

Despite rejecting the bid, BHP did announce it would sell some of its onshore petroleum interests on April 26.

This move may have spurred Elliott into a renewed effort, some analysts have said.

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