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    BHP to proceed with unification proposal

Summary

BHP has been operating under a dual-listed company corporate structure since 2001 when it merged with Billiton.

by: Shardul Sharma

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BHP to proceed with unification proposal

Anglo-Australian multinational BHP on December 2 announced a final board decision to unify its corporate structure under its existing Australian parent company, BHP Group.

BHP has been operating under a dual-listed company corporate structure since 2001 when it merged with Billiton. The dual-listed company structure comprises two parent companies; BHP Group Limited in Australia and BHP Group Plc in the UK, with separate stock exchange listings.

“The BHP board believes that unification is in the best interests of BHP shareholders,” the company said.  “It will result in a corporate structure that is simpler and more efficient, reduces duplication and streamlines BHP's governance and internal processes.”

BHP said unification would enable it to undertake certain transactions more simply and efficiently than it can under the dual listed company structure. “This includes the agreement to merge BHP’s petroleum business with Woodside Petroleum. Future demergers and equity raising transactions would also be simpler to execute following unification,” it said.

Last month, Woodside signed a binding agreement to merge with BHP’s oil and gas business. The merged entity will be owned 52% by existing Woodside shareholders and 48% by existing BHP shareholders. Completion of the merger is targeted for the second quarter of 2022.

Unification is expected to be complete by January 31, 2022, subject to approval by the shareholders of both BHP Group Limited and BHP Group Plc, receipt of remaining regulatory approvals and UK Court sanction, BHP said.