FT: BHP looking to sell nearly all pre-merger Billiton assets

BHP Billiton (BHP -0.3%) is considering a sale of almost all of the businesses Billiton brought to the merger with BHP 13 years ago, in an attempt to refocus the company on BHP’s core operations from before the 2001 tie-up, FT reports.

New CEO Andrew Mackenzie is narrowing the company's focus to a set of long-life mines and major oil and gas fields in a few locations; by contrast, former Billiton assets such as African manganese mines and aluminum production facilities contribute only ~10% to overall earnings.

"Merging with Billiton has not been a bad deal," says RBC analyst Tim Huff. "It just happens that some of the assets they bought are now those that they do not view as having potential for the next two to three decades.”

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Comments (6)
  • Capt Jack Daniels
    , contributor
    Comments (1466) | Send Message
    Are they going to keep the North American Natural Gas operations from Petro-hawk.


    Perhaps they need to see about splitting up and spinning off such operations in a tax free way.
    10 Jun 2014, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • unilifebeliever
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
    They are keeping their iron ore, petroleum, copper and coal assets because they believe this is their main businesses and potash a potential fifth and I think they are either selling or de merging the rest and they already have tax free exemptions from the Australian government I am pretty sure
    11 Jun 2014, 12:59 AM Reply Like
  • snoopy44
    , contributor
    Comments (1487) | Send Message
    This is kind of sad to hear in a way. Ironically, BHP had been my best performing stock ever until I sold it in 2008 at a 122% profit. It is the only stock where my actual gain was over $10,000 (Long-term). I bought the stock in 2002 near the beginning of the commodity supercycle and saw the writing on the wall in 2008 when China's economic growth began to stall. BHP was one heckuva stock to own back then. Just reinvested the dividends and let the compounding take care of itself. I wish I could find another stock like that now but not likely in this "bubble" environment.
    10 Jun 2014, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • Capt Jack Daniels
    , contributor
    Comments (1466) | Send Message
    Snoop you would have made more money waiting and selling when it topped 100. in like 2010 or was that 2011.


    Of course it was the hedge funds darling and they bought up it's price almost on a daily basis.


    I have an over 100% on MO and a nice 10% dividend.


    Bhp is unloved these days.
    10 Jun 2014, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • snoopy44
    , contributor
    Comments (1487) | Send Message
    Capt Jack,
    Yes it is always hard to know when exactly to exit a stock. But I knew going in when I bought BHP that someday the commodity boom would end. It was just a matter of time. And yes holding it until it went over $100 looks good in hindsight but just remember the old saying, "pigs get slaughtered".
    In 2008 I shifted the whole focus of my portfolio from weak dollar/commodity plays to "defensive" stocks. Like you I picked up MO, PM, CL, GIS, and KO. I just had a real bad feeling that the market would eventually gravitate back to large-cap blue chips. Luckily it has worked out so far. Don't know about you but I would not touch these small-caps with a 10 ft pole. This so-called "recovery" is not what its cracked up to be. I see a lot of weakness in labor markets, CAPEX spending, and consumer demand. Will hang out in the "bunker" with my consumer staples stocks until the smoke clears. Glad to hear you have done so well with MO. It is a "superstar" stock. Believe it or not, I still like the rails too (CSX, UNP, & NSC).
    Good luck out there!


    10 Jun 2014, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • MacJava
    , contributor
    Comments (23) | Send Message
    have held in BHP since 1966, bass straight oil shared with esso came on stream then, after that the shares lifted substantially made me like BHP
    my theory is that in the long term industrialization of the world will continue to provide demand for the minerals which BHP can produce at the cheap end.
    although BHP hasn't lifted this year due to the low price of commodities think the brownfield expansion in the Pilbara iron ore will pay off also copper should come higher on the cycle
    10 Jun 2014, 07:35 PM Reply Like
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