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10 things you didn’t know about BHP Billiton Limited

The world’s biggest miner, BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), with a market cap of more than $200 billion, recently reported a profit of US$7.8 billion for the six months to December 2013.

That’s a whopping 31% rise over the previous year.

What you may not know is that including that profit figure, BHP has reported a total net profit of more than A$140 billion since 1985.

Here’s another 9 facts you may not know.

  1. That net profit comes from revenues of over $820 billion over the same period.
  2. BHP has paid taxes of around $76 billion on those revenues.
  3. While BHP and Billiton only merged in 2001 to form the company we know now, Billiton’s history stretches back as far as 1860, while BHP’s life began in 1885.
  4. Arrium (ASX: ARI) ex-OneSteel and BlueScope Steel (ASX: BSL) were both part of BHP, but were spun out in 2000 and 2002 respectively.
  5. BHP made a $66 billion dollar takeover offer for Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) in 2007, but the bid was dropped in 2008 due to the global financial crisis.
  6. BHP made a US$40 billion bid for Canadian miner Potash Corporation in 2010, but the deal was knocked back by the Canadian government.
  7. BHP’s 2014 financial year petroleum production will be around three times that of Australia’s largest independent oil and gas producer, Woodside Petroleum (ASX: WPL), in 2013.
  8. BHP was almost taken over in 1985, by entrepreneur Robert Holmes à Court, but was saved through a deal with Elders IXL. Robert’s son Peter is a part owner in NRL team South Sydney Rabbitohs, along side Russell Crowe.
  9. Shares in BHP first traded around $38 to $39 in Jul 2007.
  10. And a bonus fact – the BHP Billiton logo represents a larger ‘blob’ (BHP) merging with a smaller ‘blob’ (Billiton) to form a perfectly whole new entity. It reportedly cost $800,000 to design.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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