MELBOURNE Aug 19 BHP Billiton
will spin off a roughly $14 billion company to shareholders,
offloading assets it acquired in its 2001 merger with Billiton,
but held off announcing a highly anticipated buyback with its
results on Tuesday.
Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie, in the top job for just
over a year, said the move to simplify BHP to focus on its best
assets in iron ore, copper, coal and petroleum would rev up
growth in cash flow and boost returns.
"By concentrating on what we do best, the development and
operation of major basins, we can improve our productivity
further, faster and with greater certainty," Mackenzie said in a
The plans were unveiled as BHP reported an 8 percent rise in
second-half underlying attributable profit to $5.69 billion,
according to Reuters calculations off the full year result. That
was just below forecasts for a second-half profit of $5.94
billion, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine's SmartEstimate.
The spin-off company, yet to be named, will bundle together
BHP's aluminium, manganese, Cerro Matoso nickel, some coal
assets and the Cannington silver, lead and zinc mine.
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Richard Pullin)