BHP proposes $60bn takeover of Anglo American

Mining giant BHP has proposed a transformative $60bn takeover bid for coal and copper rival Anglo American in a deal that would reshape Australian and world mining.

The $230bn behemoth confirmed the mega mining deal on Friday morning, offering Anglo shareholders $48 a share for a near $60bn all-share offer.

“The combination would bring together the strengths of BHP and Anglo American in an optimal structure,” the company said.

“Anglo American would bring its assets and long-term growth potential.

“BHP would bring its higher margin cash generative assets and growth projects along with its larger free cash flows and stronger balance sheet.

“The combined entity would have a leading portfolio of large, low-cost, long-life Tier 1 assets focused on iron ore and metallurgical coal and future facing commodities, including potash and copper.”

Stock in Anglo, a London-listed giant, jumped 16 per cent on the news and the company now boasts a market value of some $65.6bn.

In Australia, Anglo mines steelmaking coal in Queensland’s Bowen Basin and holds a stake in a manganese mine in the Northern Territory.

Worldwide, the company boasts a spread of copper mines in Chile and Peru, iron ore operations in Brazil and South Africa, and diamonds and platinum mines in Africa.

Copper is a target commodity for BHP, with chief executive Mike Henry increasingly vocal about the urgent need for greater copper production to meet the world’s decarbonisation ambitions.

In a speech to the IEA Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Summit in Paris last year, Mr Henry said about $386bn of “growth capital” investment into copper could be needed in the next seven years to limit temperatures rises to 1.5C.

“That is over and above sustaining capital,” he said.

“But currently committed growth projects over this period only amount to around $US40 or $US50bn ($A77bn) today.”

The miner acquired Oz Minerals in a $9.6bn transaction in 2023 to build out what it calls its “Copper South Australia” province, which now includes the Olympic Dam, Carrapateena and Prominent Hill mines.

BHP’s key commodities are West Australian iron ore, South Australian copper and Queensland coal, and the company said Anglo’s assets would complement its own operations.

“The benefits to BHP shareholders would include increasing BHP’s exposure to future facing commodities through Anglo American’s world class copper assets (and) complementing BHP’s iron ore and metallurgical coal portfolios with Anglo American’s high quality iron ore operations in Brazil and metallurgical coal operations in Queensland.”

If the deal goes through, BHP would once more become the kingpin of Queensland’s coalfields, adding Anglo’s Moranbah, Grosvenor, Dawson and Aquila mines to its own Goonyella, Broadmeadow, Caval Ridge, Peak Downs and Saraji mines.

The proposal would involve a spin-off of Anglo’s South African iron ore and platinum operations to Anglo shareholders.

BHP also said Anglo’s diamond business would be subject to a “strategic review” post transaction.

The offer is non-binding and subject to due diligence from both parties.

“This announcement does not amount to a firm intention to make an offer and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made,” BHP said.

Shares in BHP tumbled on the news in early trading on Friday, slumping 4.1 per cent at the opening bell.

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