Mining giant BHP Billiton’s (ASX:BHP) (LON: BLT)(NYSE: BHP) push to sell non-core assets to reduce debt and simplify its operations, may be materializing very soon, as the world's biggest miner is said to be targeting at least 10 sales.
According to the weekend edition of The Australian, BHP chief financial officer Graham Kerr confirmed the rumour in closed briefings to sell-side analysts last week, adding the firm’s divestment program was focusing on a minimum of 10 businesses.
Although Kerr did not identify the specific assets, the miner recently announced the potential divestment of its Gregory-Crinum coal operation in Queensland, Australia, as well as and its Ekati diamond mine in Canada, where it holds an 80% stake.
According to analysts at Deutsche Bank quoted by The Wall Street Journal, BHP assets sale could raise over $25 billion.
BHP Billiton has recently made some costly acquisitions in the Fayetteville, Haynesville/Bossier, Eagle Ford and the Permian Basin shale gas acreages in the US. It is also the operator in two blocks in the Gulf of Mexico and has other development projects in the Philippines, India, Trinidad and Tobago, Algeria, Pakistan, and Malaysia.
Last year the company ditched nearly $40 billion in projects and closed some of its struggling coal mines.