Hedge fun Elliott Management is pressuring BHP Billiton to abandon its dual listing in Australia and the UK, as well as spinning off its US petroleum business to list on the New York stock exchange, it has been reported.
BHP has rejected the proposal, saying the “costs and associated risks” outweigh any potential benefits.
The Australian Government has also insisted any major changes to the corporate structure of BHP Billiton would need to be consistent with the country’s “national interest.”
“A change in the corporate structure and listing arrangement would need to be carefully considered against the provisions of the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act,” said a Treasury spokeswoman.
“If the changes were significant they would need to be consistent with Australia’s national interest test under that Act.”
It is unlikely that any Australian treasurer will take the risk of losing the centre of organisational gravity of one of the country’s largest companies and global leader in the mining sector.