BHP Billiton yields to UK investors over listing of spin-off

BHP Billiton has yielded to pressure from UK investors to list its yet-to-be-named $15 billion spin-off of unwanted assets (mining activities that BHP does not feel are profitable enough) in London, Market Business News reported.

According to the company it was looking for a London listing for the new company. It would also have a primary listing in Australia as also a secondary listing in South Africa.

The listing was originally limited to Australia, but European investors (who can only invest in companies listed there) complained that they would be excluded.

The company has therefore opted for a ''standard'' UK listing which was a second tier of shares that were not included in the FTSE indices.

Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said in a statement on Friday, "We are pleased to offer an additional listing in London in response to the interest investors have shown in the new company.''

The company announced in August that it would spin off its aluminum, coal, manganese, nickel and silver assets into the new company.

According to sources, BHP had held talks with the FTSE but had failed to convince it to alter the rules.

Meanwhile, speculation had been growing that X2 Resources, the new venture of the South African mining tycoon Mick Davis, would grab BHP assets, The Independent reported.

According X2's announcement this week, that it had added $1 billion to its war-chest and taken the funds raised to $4.8 billion – easily enough to buy BHP assets suitably gearing up with debt.