dglobalnews.com BHP drops Billiton in $10 million rebrand
Published: Mon, May 15, 2017
Markets | By Armando Jensen

BHP drops Billiton in $10 million rebrand

BHP drops Billiton in $10 million rebrand

"It's a form of reset for us", said Geoff Healy, the Melbourne-based company's chief external affairs officer.

For generations it was known simply as BHP or The Big Australian until its merger 16 years ago with the South African miner Billiton.

Global mining company BHP has unveiled a new brand campaign which includes a name and logo change.

Miner BHP Billiton on Monday announced it would drop the name Billiton in a re-branding exercise to build its standing as a major Australian company rather than a multinational giant.

Activist hedge fund Elliott Advisors has launched a public campaign over the last month, calling for a significant restructure of BHP Billiton's operations, by merging the United Kingdom and Australian entities into a single London-listed company and spinning off its USA petroleum business for a NY listing.

BHP will run two 30-second TV commercials from tonight, release a longer version to staff and on social media and place print ads as it looks to re-position its identity around trust, respect and fostering close relationships.

BHP Billiton spins off some of its aluminium, coal, manganese, nickel and silver assets as ASX-listed South32.

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The re-brand comes as the company faces pressure from USA hedge fund Elliott International to shift its primary stock market listing away from Australia.

BHP has operations in 25 countries, and will retain its dual listings in Australia and London. In early May, Australian fund manager Tribeca Investment Partners issued its own call for BHP to exit its US onshore oil-and-gas assets and for a renewal in the board and senior management.

The new campaign will focus on that heritage and what BHP does.

A key part of Elliott's plan is to move BHP to London, a move Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison said he would not allow.

"There is zero connection with Elliott's proposals", Healy said.

"All that will happen gradually, in due course, when it makes sense to do it", Mr Healy said. "We've been doing this for 18 months".

The campaign, the first since it used the late actor Bill Hunter 30 years ago in the initial "Big Australian" promotion, will be rolled out domestically at first before also being undertaken globally.

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