BHP Billiton is to offload its US shale oil operations after shareholder pressure
Activist hedge fund investor Elliott Advisors has been campaigning for a shake-up at the world’s biggest miner and has increased its stake to 5 per cent.
FTSE 100 Billiton said it is “actively pursuing options to exit” as annual underlying profit rose 454 per cent to $6.73 billion (£5.24 billion) after a rebound in industrial commodities.
Net debt was slashed by nearly $10 billion.
We are actively pursuing options to exit these assets for value
Chief Andrew Mackenzie said: “This strong momentum will be carried into the 2018 financial year, with volume growth of 7 per cent and further productivity gains expected.
“Our relentless focus on cash flow, capital discipline and value creation should allow us to significantly increase our return on capital by the 2022 financial year.”
BHP Billiton’s net debt was slashed by nearly $10 billion
BHP said in a statement to the media: “We have determined that our onshore U.S. assets are non-core and we are actively pursuing options to exit these assets for value.
“In the meantime, we will complete well trials, acreage swaps and assess mid-stream solutions to increase the value, profitability and marketability of our acreage.”