The BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price is heading higher in early trade, up 1.76% to $40.41.
This comes as the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) mining giant moves forward with plans to unify its 2 companies into a single listing on the Aussie exchange.
BHP share price lifts on unification plans
The BHP share price is on the rise after the miner’s board of directors said it is moving forward with unifying the company’s corporate structure under its existing Australian parent company, BHP Group Limited.
As you may be aware, BHP has been operating under what’s known as a dual-listed company (DLC) corporate structure. The DLC came into being when BHP and Billiton merged in 2001.
This formed 2 parent companies, BHP Group Limited in Australia trading on the ASX and BHP Group Plc in the United Kingdom trading on the London Stock Exchange. Both companies operate under the same board of directors and management. Their shares carry the same voting and economic rights.
BHP first reported its intent to unify its corporate structure back on 17 August. The BHP share price has dropped by 21% since then.
In a release this morning, the board said it “believes unification is in the best interests of BHP shareholders”.
The company plans to publish a Shareholder Circular and a Prospectus with additional information next Wednesday 8 December.
Subject to shareholder and certain regulatory approvals, BHP expects to complete the unification by 31 January 2021.
What did management say?
Commenting on the unification, BHP’s chair, Ken MacKenzie said:
BHP is in great shape and now is the right time to make strategic, transformative changes for the future. Unification will create one parent company, one share register and one share price globally. We believe this is the best structure for BHP to provide the resources the world needs and create long-term shareholder value.
BHP’s CEO, Mike Henry added:
A unified corporate structure will make BHP simpler and more agile, with the strategic flexibility required to shape our portfolio to deliver value through producing the commodities needed for continued economic growth, improved living standards, electrification and decarbonisation.
We will retain listings in the UK, US, South Africa and Australia, providing BHP with continued access to global markets and giving shareholders the opportunity to benefit from our portfolio, management and operating performance for long-term value.
BHP share price snapshot
The BHP share price has been under pressure amid declining the iron ore price, with shares down 6% year-to-date. That compares to a gain of 8% posted by the ASX 200.
Over the past month, BHP shares are up 12%.