BHP backflips on London listing

BHP Billiton has announced it will list its spin-off company in London after facing investor backlash.
BHP backflips on London listing BHP backflips on London listing BHP backflips on London listing BHP backflips on London listing BHP backflips on London listing


Kristie Batten

When the demerger was first announced in August, the company said the new entity, dubbed NewCo for now, would be listed in Australia and Johannesburg though existing BHP shareholders would receive 100% of the shares.

Analysts were concerned about the potential overhang of shares in NewCo but BHP said at the time that a London listing for NewCo was too expensive.

But last month BHP chairman Jac Nasser confirmed that after meetings with shareholders, the company was considering a London listing and today confirmed it would pursue that option.

The move will no doubt please investors ahead of next week’s London annual general meeting.

The London listing will be in addition to the proposed primary listing on the Australian Securities Exchange and secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

“We are pleased to offer an additional listing in London in response to the interest investors have shown in the new company,” BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie said.

“We continue to work towards completion of the demerger in the first half of the 2015 calendar year, subject to receipt of the necessary approvals.”

The assets to go into NewCo comprise the Cannington mine in Queensland, the Worsley alumina refinery in Western Australia, the Hillside smelter in South Africa and Mozal smelter in Mozambique, as well as a non-operated asset in Brazil, Illawarra Coal in New South Wales, Energy Coal South Africa, the Cerro Matoso nickel mine in Colombia, and the TEMCO and GEMCO assets in Australia and Hotazel and Metalloys assets in South Africa in manganese.

The company said a final board decision would only be made once government, taxation, regulatory and other third party approvals were received.

BHP is set to reveal more details about NewCo next month.

Shares in BHP dropped 1.4% to $A33.33.

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