Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Miner BHP Billiton has announced it will drop the name "Billiton" in a rebranding exercise to build its standing as a major Australian company rather than a multinational.

The Australian roots of the world’s biggest miner stretch back to 1885. It became BHP Billiton in a merger with the South African company that bore that name in 2001.

Chief external affairs officer Geoff Healy said a new "think big" advertising campaign was designed to demonstrate the important role BHP played in the Australian economy. BHP would also change its logo, he said.

The rebranding comes at a sensitive time for the company, with US-based hedge fund Elliott Advisors, a significant shareholder, pushing for a restructure and arguing that as much as 50% more value in the stock could be unlocked.

Elliott Advisors wants to dissolve BHP’s costly dual-listed structure and have its assets transferred to a new company that would be incorporated and listed in Britain.

In May, BHP treasurer Scott Morrison warned that removing the miner from the Australian Stock Exchange was not in the national interest and would breach the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act.

AFP

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