BHP CEO Will Meet With Activist Elliott to Discuss Demands – by David Stringer and Rebecca Keenan (Bloomberg News – February 20, 2018)

BHP Billiton Ltd.’s top executive will meet with major critic Elliott Management Corp. this week to discuss demands for a business overhaul that the activist group argues could deliver more than $22 billion in value.

BHP’s first-half results missed analysts’ expectations and the shares fell 4.6 percent, on pace for the biggest daily drop since April. The world’s biggest mining company will also canvass other shareholders on the proposal to reorganize as a single company listed in Australia.

While flagging potential risks and costs associated with the New York-based fund’s demands, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie pledged to discuss the issue further. He said he’ll probably say more after meeting with Elliott.

The hedge fund, which has been campaigning publicly for a range of changes at BHP for almost a year, this month called on the company to conduct an independent study to review potential benefits of a restructuring. BHP currently operates as two entities based in Melbourne and London.

The company is “open to all sorts of ways in which we can simplify and add value to shareholders including what might lie within the dual listed structure,” Mackenzie told reporters Tuesday on an earnings’ conference call.

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