What a BHP demerger will mean for shareholders

A BHP Billiton demerger will see the company refocus its energy on its highest-returning assets while hiving off its non-core investments, but one set of shareholders may have to be compensated.

It’s presumably not a coincidence that BHP Billiton announced today that its preferred option for its much-touted portfolio simplification is a demerger. That suggests we’re going to see the unveiling of a new and sizable resources company when BHP releases its results next week.

For much of this year, BHP’s Andrew Mackenzie has been arguing the benefits of streamlining the group’s portfolio to focus on its core 'basin' assets (or the 'four pillars' he often refers to).

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