Elliott boosts BHP stake

ACTIVIST hedge fund Elliott has boosted its stake in BHP Billiton plc to 5% and reiterated its message to new chairman Ken MacKenzie to “think smart”.
Elliott boosts BHP stake Elliott boosts BHP stake Elliott boosts BHP stake Elliott boosts BHP stake Elliott boosts BHP stake

Ken MacKenzie.

Kristie Batten

Elliott launched its campaign against the miner in April when it held around 4% of the stock.

Today it said that BHP appeared to have taken steps towards a smarter, more value-generative way of conducting business and it urged further progress.

“Recent statements by the company give us confidence that chairman-elect Ken MacKenzie will heed shareholders’ calls to take constructive steps to enhance value for BHP and its owners,” Elliott said.

Elliott is seeking a full exit from BHP’s US shale business and a review of the petroleum business; a new capital allocation policy; and the unification of the dual-listed company structure.

The New York-based fund said comments by management around the shale and petroleum business had been encouraging.

“BHP’s shareholders have made it clear that constructive steps for substantial and meaningful change are needed at BHP,” Elliott said.

“The election of a new chairman is an opportunity for action. With new leadership, shareholders fully expect the true value of their company to be unlocked – something which we are confident BHP’s chairman-elect has firmly in mind as he takes the reins.

“At the same time, our increased shareholding leaves us well placed to monitor BHP’s progress and hold it accountable for delivering results.”

BHP will report its full-year results next Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank is expecting underlying earnings of US$7 billion, in line with consensus.

BHP shares were unchanged at A$25.61.