17 April 2024
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Will unification drive BHP’s share price higher?

Paul Rickard
27 January 2022

When BHP merged with the South African based Billiton in 2001, the company adopted a dual listing structure with two separate legal entities. BHP Group Limited, listed on the ASX, and BHP Group Plc, listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). Although BHP operated as one economic entity, the assets were split between the two companies and at the time, about 40% of the earnings were attributed to Plc assets.

Roll on 20 years and this has fallen to less than 5%, largely due to the rise in the importance of iron ore to BHP, plus some divestments and the demerger of S32 (mainly former Billiton assets). Further, the costs of unification (stamp duties and other taxes) have fallen by some US$1.2bn since 2017. It will still cost shareholders between US$350 million and US$450 million to unify.

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