Activist investor Elliott has embarked on an international tour of BHP Billiton’s (LON:BLT) biggest shareholders, Reuters has reported. The move comes with the hedge fund pressing ahead with its campaign to force a radical shake-up of the Anglo-Australian miner.
BHP Billiton’s share price has been steady in London this morning, having added 0.54 percent to 1,387.00p as of 08:37 BST, slightly outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.12 percent higher at 7,516.88 points. The group’s shares have added just under 10 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by some six percent in the year-to-date.
Elliott meets with major BHP shareholders
Sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters last night that representatives from Elliott had met with major BHP investors based in London, South Africa and Australia in the last month, to lay out its arguments for an overhaul of the miner. In the meetings, the activist investor reportedly reiterated its view that the blue-chip group should scrap its dual listing structure by abolishing its British company.
The meetings come as BHP Billiton prepares to hold its London annual general meeting (AGM) on October 19, and its Sydney AGM on November 16.
The news also comes after Elliott hiked its stake in the Anglo-Australian miner to five percent in August, in a sign that the hedge fund was ramping up its campaign at the resources company. The New York-based investor launched its campaign in April when it held a 4.1-percent stake in the FTSE 100 company, which it later increased to 4.5 percent.
Analysts on BHP Billiton
Macquarie remains bullish on the Anglo-Australian miner, having reiterated its ‘outperform’ rating on the company today, with a price target of 1,600p on the shares. According to MarketBeat, BHP currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 1,321.67p.