It had previously 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.
SYDNEY/LONDON Activist investor Elliott Management raised the pressure for strategic changes at BHP (BHP.AX) (BLT.L) on Tuesday, calling for an independent review of the mining giant's petroleum business.
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The miner said chief executive Andrew Mackenzie will update shareholders on its plans to significantly grow long term shareholder value. BHP had rejected the earlier proposals as too costly.
In analysis released today, Elliott says total shareholder returns at BHP have substantially underperformed Rio Tinto as well as the ASX200, the FTSE 100 and the S&P 500 over the year to date and for every year of the last eight years. But it said it had been questioned by a number of shareholders on its proposal and accepted that there are regulatory issues.
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Elliott has carried out talks in the past month with investors holding tens of billions of dollars of BHP shares and believes there's "extremely broad and deep-rooted shareholder support" for an assessment of the petroleum division, the New York-based fund said Tuesday in a statement, without naming the shareholders.
BHP is however divesting non-core parts of its US shale assets. In particular, they are seeking an independent review of the company's petroleum business.
Elliott responded to directors of BHP Billiton's "do nothing" approach to unlocking substantial additional value for its shareholders - reinforcing a call for shareholders worldwide to demand a halt to chronic underperformance at BHP.
Mackenzie said technology programs to improve safety, lower costs and unlock resource with an unrisked value of up to U.S. $12 billion were among the most capital efficient options in the portfolio. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of GBX 1,212.53 and a 200-day moving average price of GBX 1,306.30.
The company was for decades known simply by its acronym, although only changed its name formally to BHP Ltd. a year before the 2001 merger with Billiton PLC when it combined names and adopted a dual London- and Sydney-listed structure.