Mining giant BHP names spin-off South32

8th December 2014, Comments 0 comments

The world's biggest miner BHP Billiton has named its proposed spin-off South32, with the demerger on track to be completed in the first half of 2015.

The Anglo-Australian resources giant announced in August a proposal to create a new independent company by spinning-off non-core assets including aluminium, manganese, silver and selected coal and nickel operations.

Under the plan to cut costs and boost productivity, the new entity will be listed in Sydney, London, and Johannesburg with its headquarters in Perth, Australia.

South32's chief executive elect Graham Kerr said the name reflected that most of its assets were in the southern hemisphere -- largely Australia and South Africa -- and linked by the 32nd parallel south line of latitude.

"Our heritage and the places in which we operate are an important part of our identity," he said late Monday.

"While South32 is grounded in the southern hemisphere, we will retain our global reach and ambition as we seek to exceed the expectations of a global shareholder base."

The demerger, to be voted on by shareholders in May, was designed to separate BHP's gigantic iron ore and petroleum resources, which generate most of its operating profit, from its smaller operations.

"Many of our assets are among the most attractive in their respective commodities and all have benefited from BHP Billiton's structured approach to improving safety and performance," he said.

"As we move to a regional model and develop a fit-for-purpose strategy, we have the potential to further improve performance. This would enable South32's assets to reach their full potential and benefit our shareholders, employees and communities."

BHP posted a 23.2 percent jump in annual net profit to US$13.83 billion in the year to June 30, driven by strong iron ore production.

© 2014 AFP

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