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Forget ‘NewCo’: BHP Billiton spin-off named South32

Forget ‘NewCo’: BHP Billiton spin-off named South 32

South32 chief executive-elect Graham Kerr.

The waiting game is over. BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) announced Monday it plans to name its Perth-based spin-off company South32, reflecting the new firm’s focus on mining assets in Australia and South Africa.

South32 chief executive-elect Graham Kerr described the naming “a major step” in the company’s evolution.

The name for the new company, which will hold up to $15bn in non-core assets, reflects the fact that most of its operations are in either Australia or South Africa. These two countries are linked by the 32nd parallel south line of latitude.

“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,” Kerr said in a statement.

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

BHP Billiton also said it will continue simplifying its portfolio and that, as part of this process, it is reviewing its New Mexico Coal and smaller petroleum assets.

Image courtesy of BHP Billiton.