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BHP Billiton's Spin-Off Company to be Named South32

Australian mining company BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), which announced earlier this year it would split its “core” and “noncore” asse...

|Dec 8|magazine6 min read

Australian mining company BHP Billiton  (ASX:BHP), which announced earlier this year it would split its “core” and “noncore” assets into separate companies, has finally announced the name of its new company.

South32 will include a majority of selected assets located in the southern hemisphere with two regional centers in Australia and South Africa. The name, South32, represents BHP’s footprint and its regional approach to managing its operations. 

“The naming of South32 is a major step in the setup of our company,” said newly elected Chief Executive Officer, Graham Kerr.

“Our heritage and the places in which we operate are an important part of our identity.  While South32 is grounded in the southern hemisphere, we will retain our global reach and ambition as we seek to exceed the expectations of a global shareholder base. The diversity of our employees, commodities, customers and communities will give the new company great strength, which is represented by the woven pattern of our logo.”

With its head office in Perth, the company’s regional head office and global share services center will be located in Johannesburg. South32 will be an Australian incorporated company and is intended to have a primary listing on the Australian Securities Exchange, with a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and a standard listing in London.

“Many of our assets are among the most attractive in their respective commodities and all have benefited from BHP Billiton’s structured approach to improving safety and performance,” said Kerr.

“As we move to a regional model and develop a fit-for-purpose strategy, we have the potential to further improve performance. This would enable South32’s assets to reach their full potential and benefit our shareholders, employees and communities.”

Once all necessary third-party approvals are secured on satisfactory terms, a final Board decision on the proposed demerger will be made. BHP Billiton is expected to release all shareholder documentation with full details by March 2015 with shareholders voting in May.