Saturday, November 10, 2007

BHP considers $40billion sale of petroleum arm

From the Times of London:

THE board of BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining group, is considering the sale of one of its largest subsidiaries, BHP Petroleum, to help finance a hostile takeover of Rio Tinto.

BHP’s financial advisers, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, are understood to have already flown out to China to sound out potential bidders for the subsidiary, which could be worth more than £20 billion. There would also be interest in the oil and gas fields from other international buyers.

Analysts say the petroleum division has always sat uncomfortably in the groupp’s portfolio and a sale would be welcomed by the City. However no decision to sell BHP Petroleum has yet been made....MORE

From Reuters:

BHP lines up $70 bln finance package from Citi. (cites the FT story immediately below)

BHP Billiton (BLT.L: Quote) has lined up a $70 billion financing package to bolster its $140 billion takeover approach for rival miner Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Quote), the Financial Times said on Saturday.

Rio rejected the all-share offer from BHP Billiton on Thursday, saying it was too low. But there is speculation BHP will sweeten its offer, which helped boost Rio shares for a second day on Friday.

The FT, quoting market sources, said BHP's arrangement of debt facilities through U.S. bank Citigroup (C.N: Quote indicated it may make a hostile bid....MORE