BHP investors approve scrapping of dual listing
SYDNEY (Reuters) -BHP Group investors in London and Sydney have approved plans to scrap the mining company’s dual listing in favour of a main listing in Sydney.
More than 97% of investors voted in favour of the plan at a company shareholder meeting in London after the proposal won the support of more than 96% of proxy votes at an earlier meeting in Australia.
The decision will see the FTSE 100 index lose one of its biggest companies though it will retain a standard listing in London.
Owners of BHP’s London-listed shares on the FTSE 100 account for 42% of the overall register split between London and Sydney.
Jefferies said “M&A deals could be coming” following the unification and once BHP completes the sale of its petroleum assets to Woodside Petroleum in the second quarter of 2022.
“An exit from oil & gas and a desire to increase exposure to ‘future-facing commodities’, which management has explicitly defined as copper, nickel and potash, could mean that BHP pursues acquisitions,” they wrote in a note.
“CEO Mike Henry has recently talked about disciplined M&A being a lever for growth,” they added.
The results of the votes will be published on the two stock exchanges later in the day. BHP shares were up 1% in London by 1615 GMT.
(Reporting by Tom Westbrook in Sydney, Clara Denina in London, and Danilo Masoni in MilanAdditional reporting by Zandi ShabalalaEditing by David Goodman and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)