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  • Tue, Sep. 6, 11:29 AM
    • Woodside Petroleum (OTCPK:WOPEF, OTCPK:WOPEY) announced yesterday that it would pay as much as $400M for half of BHP Billiton’s (BHP +1.2%) interest in the Scarborough gas field off the Western Australia coast as part of a drive to boost its reserves.
    • The deal will take Woodside’s net share of the Scarborough assets to ~2.6T cf of gas out of a total resource of 8.7T cf.
    • Woodside says it will pay $250M to BHP when the deal is completed, which it expects by year-end, and another $150M if the companies decide to develop the Scarborough field, although Bernstein's Neal Beveridge says the structure of the deal suggests plenty of uncertainty over whether the project will move forward.
    • The main Scarborough field, which boasts a proved and probable contingent resource of 6.9T cf, will continue to be operated by BHP partner ExxonMobil (XOM +0.6%).
    | Tue, Sep. 6, 11:29 AM | 3 Comments
  • Mon, Feb. 22, 10:33 AM
    • Freeport McMoRan (FCX +12.1%) soars ~12% in early trade to lead the S&P 500, as copper futures and other base metals surge.
    • The LME’s three-month copper contract was up 1.4% at $4,686/metric ton after hitting a two-week high earlier in the session at $4,701, maintaining its price momentum after closing above $4,600/ton last week for the first time in almost two weeks.
    • Positive trading sentiment on copper was upheld by China’s announcement that it will reduce deed and business taxes for home buyers in a bid to speed up home sales and reduce the glut on the property market; weak Chinese property sales have been bad for copper prices, as the sector accounts for most of the demand for the metal.
    • Meanwhile, Bloomberg's David Fickling thinks BHP Billiton (BHP +5.9%) ought to buy FCX: BHP's copper output would more than double overnight and control of all three of the world's biggest copper pits - Escondida, Grasberg and Morenci - while a deal also would make sense for FCX, "whose debts are dragging it dangerously close to the plughole."
    | Mon, Feb. 22, 10:33 AM | 22 Comments
  • Aug. 19, 2014, 6:29 PM
    • BHP Billiton's (NYSE:BHP) move to spin off a raft of assets it deems non-core - businesses that employ ~25% of the company's current workforce but deliver less than 10% of its profits - creates a new midsize metals player that could become a prime takeover target for rivals.
    • WSJ mentions Glencore (OTCPK:GLCNF, OTCPK:GLNCY) as a potential suitor, and Mick Davis, the former CEO of Xstrata who left the company when it merged with Glencore, is on the lookout for acquisitions for his new investment vehicle.
    • On the other hand, the new BHP entity could suffer from dis-synergies after the spinoff, potentially facing higher costs in borrowing funds and procuring supplies.
    | Aug. 19, 2014, 6:29 PM
  • Aug. 19, 2014, 7:14 AM
    • After announcing the creation of its new global metals and mining company, BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) says it is now in talks with potential buyers for all, or part, of its Nickel West division in Australia, which was excluded from the company's major restructuring.
    • "We continue to talk to interested parties," says CEO Andrew Mackenzie. "This is a matter of commercial discussions with several potential buyers."
    | Aug. 19, 2014, 7:14 AM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 19, 2014, 3:40 AM
    • BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) has announced its plans to form a new global metals and mining company based around its aluminium, coal, manganese, nickel and silver assets. The new company will be listed on the Australian stock exchange, with a secondary listing in South Africa.
    • "With a simpler portfolio, we are targeting sustainable, productivity-led gains of at least $3.5B per annum by the end of the 2017 financial year," says CEO Andrew Mackenzie.
    • The demerger will leave BHP Billiton focused on its long-life iron ore, copper, coal, petroleum and potash basins.
    | Aug. 19, 2014, 3:40 AM | 10 Comments
  • Apr. 27, 2014, 4:04 AM
    • Former Xstrata boss Mick Davis, who has set up a new venture called X2, is believed to have made an offer to acquire BHP Billiton's (BHP) thermal coal division, the U.K.'s Sunday Times reports.
    • X2 has raised $3.7B (£2.2B) from investors and is understood to have appointed JPMorgan to provide as much as $8B in debt.
    • Earnings at BHP's thermal-coal operations have plummeted by two-thirds in the past three years, the Sunday Times notes.
    | Apr. 27, 2014, 4:04 AM | 1 Comment
  • Apr. 15, 2014, 8:36 AM
    • Potash (POT+2.3% premarket on speculation that BHP Billiton (BHP) may make another run at acquiring the fertilizer company after failing in a prior buyout attempt in 2010, according to the Globe & Mail.
    • The report says industry speculation is "intense" because "the numbers work, the personalities are closer to working, [and] even the politics are not insurmountable because the landscape has shifted," but it adds that "there is no sign that any potential deal is underway."
    | Apr. 15, 2014, 8:36 AM | 15 Comments
  • Aug. 22, 2013, 9:45 AM
    • Mosaic's (MOS +1%) takeover prospects suffered a blow when BHP Billiton (BHP +2.3%) renewed its commitment to building its own potash mine, Bloomberg writes; a is now “wishful thinking” on the part of MOS shareholders, a Credit Suisse analyst says.
    • The Jansen mine would be the largest single source of potash, with a projected production capacity of 10M metric tons/year; the project may end up costing BHP ~$16B, while MOS' enterprise value has fallen to $14.8B.
    • BHP could have used Jansen as a bargaining chip to persuade MOS to sell itself because the project will introduce more competition and supply.
    | Aug. 22, 2013, 9:45 AM
  • Aug. 6, 2013, 10:31 AM
    • BAML urges BHP Billiton (BHP) to make a bold response to the implosion of one of the world’s two big potash cartels: Buy an established potash producer such as Mosaic (MOS) as an alternative to building the Jansen mine in Saskatchewan.
    • Jansen could eventually produce as much as 10M tons/year of potash, but likely will cost ~$15B to build. BAML says that’s on a par with its enterprise value of MOS, which could produce up to 12M tons/year; MOS also has a phosphate business worth as much as $8B that could be sold.
    • "Mosaic could provide instant critical scale via a large scale, low-cost, long-life asset," the firm says. (earlier)
    | Aug. 6, 2013, 10:31 AM | 5 Comments
  • May 8, 2013, 10:27 AM

    Mosaic (MOS +1.6%) represents the best option for an acquirer seeking to gain a foothold in the potash industry, and BHP is the most likely suitor, Bloomberg speculates. On May 26, charitable trusts associated with Cargill’s founding family can begin the process of selling restricted MOS shares they got when Mosaic split from Cargill Inc. in 2011, opening the door to a sale of the whole company.

    | May 8, 2013, 10:27 AM
  • Jan. 24, 2013, 10:34 AM

    Commodity prices are rebounding, but don’t expect megadeals in mining as a new crop of CEOs takes over, WSJ reports. At least 20 mining CEOs have stepped down in the past year, some related to unsuccessful acquisitions, and big deals are unlikely when many CEOs are new to their roles. "There will be M&A but it is likely to be very strategic, brownfield-related and very carefully thought through.”

    | Jan. 24, 2013, 10:34 AM | 2 Comments
  • Dec. 11, 2012, 5:02 PM

    BHP Billiton (BHP) sells its 8.33% stake in the East Browse joint venture and 20% interest in the West Browse joint venture, both located off the West Australian coast, to PetroChina (PTR) for $1.63B in cash. BHP exec Michael Yeager says the liquefied natural gas project interests were a non-strategic asset.

    | Dec. 11, 2012, 5:02 PM
  • Dec. 6, 2012, 9:18 AM

    Investors seem to take seriously the latest takeover chatter surrounding Walter Energy (WLT), sending shares +7.5% premarket as vague rumors circulate that bidders could emerge. BHP Billiton (BHP) is said to be interested again; Glencore (GLCNF.PK) could be another candidate; Anglo American has been mentioned in the past. Other coal names are up: ANR +1.9%, CNX +1.6%, ACI +1.3%, BTU +0.8%.

    | Dec. 6, 2012, 9:18 AM | 5 Comments
  • Dec. 5, 2012, 7:45 PM
    Speculation continues to build on rumors that BHP Billiton (BHP) is considering a bid for Walter Energy (WLT). BHP is said to be considering a $55 per share all cash offer, and if true, would be the "swan song" for current WLT CEO Marius Kloppers, whom which BHP is said to be planning a successor for. Xtrata's Mick ‘the miner’ Davis is said to be a frontrunner to take his place. BHP -0.2%, WLT -2.3% AH.
    | Dec. 5, 2012, 7:45 PM | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 30, 2012, 10:00 AM
    Walter Energy (WLT +4.4%) shares surge in early trading as renewed chatter of takeover interest from BHP Billiton (BHP) makes the rounds. WLT was the subject of rumored interest from the likes of BHP, Rio Tinto and others late last year (I, II).
    | Nov. 30, 2012, 10:00 AM
  • Nov. 13, 2012, 9:57 AM

    Harry Winston Diamond (HWD -2.1%) agrees to buy BHP Billiton’s (BHP -1.2%) diamonds business for $500M, as BHP elects to get out of the diamond business because it could not build up enough scale to make it worthwhile. The deal includes BHP’s 80% stake in the rich Ekati diamond mine in the Northwest Territories, along with its diamond marketing business.

    | Nov. 13, 2012, 9:57 AM