SYDNEY, May 5 (Reuters) - A second BHP Billiton Ltd shareholder has made a public push for strategic changes at the world’s largest miner, with the Sydney-based Tribeca Global Natural Resources Fund calling for the company to divest U.S. shale assets and to review its board and senior management.
U.S. activist hedge fund Elliott Management last month went public with a plan urging BHP to unlock value by scrapping the mining giant’s dual-corporate structure, demerging its entire U.S. oil business and modifying its capital return policy.
The Elliott plan was rejected by BHP’s board. It has received a generally tepid reaction from shareholders, and Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison on Thursday said he would not allow BHP to move its primary listing to London as Elliott had proposed.
In a letter sent to its investors on Thursday titled “Making BHP Great Again”, Tribeca said BHP should maintain its current dual-listed structure but consider selling its U.S. shale assets.
“Having assessed several recent transactions, we believe that BHP could realise approximately $10 billion from the asset sales,” Tribeca said.
BHP was not immediately available for comment.
BHP on April 26 said it would pursue the sale of some, but not all, of its onshore U.S. oil and gas assets.
Tribeca also called for BHP to review its board and management in light of the planned retirement of long-serving Chairman Jac Nasser this year.
“This provides a critical opportunity to reset the culture to one that covets capital efficiency and (earnings) growth and we hold high hopes that this opportunity will not be wasted,” Tribeca said. (Reporting by Jamie Freed)