BHP Woos South Africa in Pursuit of $39 Billion Anglo Takeover – by William Clowes, Clara Ferreira Marques and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – May 1, 2024)

(Bloomberg) — BHP Group Ltd. has deployed a senior team including its chief executive officer to South Africa as the world’s largest miner ramps up efforts to win over government officials, regulators and local shareholders, all of whom could yet determine the outcome of its proposed tie-up with rival Anglo American Plc.

The executives have already begun conversations with key stakeholders, focusing on explaining the detail of the existing $39 billion proposal — currently back on the drawing board after it was rapidly rejected by its target — and its benefits, according to people familiar with the matter. Melbourne-based CEO Mike Henry has flown to South Africa and was in the country on Thursday, the people said.

Despite its own historic links, BHP is starting on the back foot in South Africa, where the now London-based Anglo was founded and remains a household name, after its approach for the smaller miner last week caught senior officials off-guard. BHP’s complex proposal includes a plan for Anglo to spin off its Johannesburg-listed platinum and iron ore units before an eventual takeover of the remaining assets.

For the rest of this article: