BHP Billiton Ltd. appears to be heeding investors’ calls for change, activist shareholder Elliott Management Corp. said, disclosing it has boosted its holding in the world’s biggest mining company.
Paul Singer’s Elliott raised its stake in BHP’s London-traded shares to 5 percent, the fund said Wednesday in a statement, from a 4.1 percent interest in April. The fund has an economic interest in 0.5 percent in BHP’s Sydney-listed shares, according to its website.
Under U.K. law, investors holding 5 percent or more have power to call a company meeting. BHP declined to comment on Elliott’s change in holdings.
Elliott is continuing to press for BHP to enhance returns, simplify its corporate structure and overhaul its oil and gas unit. Recent company statements indicate incoming chairman Ken MacKenzie is likely to “heed shareholders’ calls to take constructive steps to enhance value,” Elliott said.
“The election of a new chairman is an opportunity for action,” the fund said. “With new leadership, shareholders fully expect the true value of their company to be unlocked — something which we are confident BHP’s chairman-elect has firmly in mind as he takes the reins.”
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