The BHP board has supported a proposal to unify the company’s dual listing into one corporate entity, ahead of a shareholder vote on the matter in January.
BHP is currently represented by two parent companies both with primary listings – BHP Group Limited in Australia and BHP Group Plc in the United Kingdom. The unification would combine the two under BHP Group Limited.
“Now is an attractive time to unify BHP’s corporate structure as we continue to position our portfolio to grow value from commodities that will benefit from global trends such as decarbonisation and economic growth,” BHP said in a statement.
“Just as we continually review and enhance our portfolio, we also regularly review our dual listed company structure to ensure it is fit-for-purpose. The most recent review concluded now is the right time to unify our corporate structure.”
BHP said consolidating the company under the one corporate banner will make it simpler and more agile, allowing for greater flexibility to shape its portfolio going forward.
The Tier 1 miner used the example of its recent merger with Woodside Petroleum as an indication of how a simplified structure can benefit the company’s strategy and growth.
“We are focussed on creating value through future-facing commodities. As we take these steps, we are also looking to protect and create further value for shareholders in the near-term,” BHP chief executive officer Mike Henry said.
“This includes through our recent agreement to merge our petroleum business with Woodside which will unlock synergies and create a large, more resilient petroleum company better able to protect and grow value through the energy transition.”
BHP and Woodside confirmed the merger of the companies’ oil and gas portfolios in November, with the expanded Woodside 52 per cent-owned by its existing shareholders and 48 per cent by existing BHP shareholders.
The merger is expected to create a global top 10 independent energy company in terms of production and forms the largest energy company listed on the ASX.
BHP shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on the corporate unification on January 20, with investors in both BHP Group Ltd and BHP Group Plc to be invited to participate.
The company hopes for the unification to be complete by January 31, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.