PERTH, Australia and LONDON, UK – Shareholders of BHP Billiton have voted 98.05% in favour of the proposed demerger, launching the new company South32.
South32 will hold producing alumina, aluminum, coal, manganese, nickel, silver, zinc and lead assets that were formerly part of the BHP Billiton portfolio.
“The demerger of South32 simplifies BHP Billiton’s portfolio while retaining the benefits of scale and diversification,” said BHP Billiton chairman Jac Nasser. “We believe that the demerger will create two successful companies in BHP Billiton and South32.”
The new company is named after the 32nd parallel south latitude that links Perth, Australia, and Johannesburg, South Africa, where it will have major business centres. South32 will operate independently and will consider acquiring assets of any commodity other than gold.
South32 shares will begin trading on the London, Australian and South African stock markets later this month.