BHP Billiton to pursue demerger with no share listing in Canada
For the second time in four years, BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company — which holds its annual meeting in London Thursday — has announced plans that don’t include a Canadian share listing.
In the summer of 2010, BHP Billiton – the result of the 2001 merger between BHP and Billiton – launched a hostile bid for Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. It offered US$130 cash a share — a potential US$40-billion transaction.
At the time, BHP Billiton noted it had business interests in Canada dating back almost 40 years.
The most significant interest was EKATI, a diamond mine in which it had invested about US$5-billion since production began in 1998. BHP, which sold the EKATI mine in 2012, had also acquired exploration rights in potash, notably the Jansen mine.
But, perhaps as a reflection of the takeover consideration, BHP Billiton, which at the time had a market cap of US$188-billion, made no plans to list its shares on the TSX. However, late in the game when opposition to its takeover was mounting, it offered a secondary listing on the TSX to complement listings Australia, London, Johannesburg and New York. But its TSX-listing plans were shelved when the takeover was withdrawn after Ottawa nixed the deal after applying the net benefit test.