BHP CEO Plans Meeting With Elliott After New Oil DemandBy
Meeting said to take place tomorrow at conference in Barcelona
Elliott is pushing BHP for an independent review of oil unit
BHP Billiton Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie plans to meet with representatives of Elliott Management Corp. this week as the hedge fund continues to push for the sale of the company’s U.S. petroleum business, according to two people familiar with the situation.
The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday on the sidelines of a mining investment conference in Barcelona, the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are confidential. It will be the first time that Mackenzie has met with Elliott since the activist fund went public with a set of demands last month, they said.
Elliott, run by billionaire Paul Singer, has accused BHP of adopting a “do nothing” approach to its three-pronged proposal. It ratcheted up the pressure on BHP management on Tuesday, sending a letter to the board calling on the world’s biggest mining company to conduct an independent review of its oil unit.
Elliott has carried out talks in the past month with investors holding tens of billions of dollars of BHP shares and believes there’s “extremely broad and deep-rooted shareholder support” for an assessment of the petroleum division, the New York-based fund said Tuesday in a statement, without naming the shareholders. The unit is worth about $22.5 billion, according to Deutsche Bank AG.
A spokesman for BHP and a spokesman from Elliott declined to comment.
— With assistance by David Stringer