BHP Billiton plans to sell $18.5bn worth non-performing assets

14 August 2014 (Last Updated August 14th, 2014 18:30)

Mining giant BHP Billiton plans to sell its non-performing assets, including the aluminium, bauxite and nickel businesses worth $18.5bn, in order to focus on key commodities such as iron ore, copper, coal and petroleum.

Mining giant BHP Billiton plans to sell its non-performing assets, including the aluminium, bauxite and nickel businesses worth $18.5bn, in order to focus on key commodities such as iron ore, copper, coal and petroleum.

On 1 April, the company announced that it may sell some assets to make the company simpler and more productive, but did not reveal further plans.

BHP said in a statement: "Since then, the board has continued to study various structural alternatives, including at its meeting this week. A demerger of a selection of assets is our preferred option.

"A portfolio focused on our major iron ore, copper, coal and petroleum assets would retain the benefits of diversification [and] generate stronger growth in cashflow."

"The board expects to consider this, and other matters, when it reconvenes next week."

The company has already sold $5.2bn worth of assets since January 2012, reported Bloomberg. In addition to iron ore, copper, coal and petroleum, BHP would also focus on potash assets.

BHP said: "By increasing our focus on these four pillars, with potash as a potential fifth, we will be able to more quickly improve the productivity and performance of our largest businesses.

"We believe that a portfolio focused on our major iron ore, copper, coal and petroleum assets would retain the benefits of diversification, generate stronger growth in cashflow and a superior return on investment."

According to CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, BHP may also sell its South African coal unit and Cannington lead and silver mine, which would be worth around $12bn.

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