BHP Billiton emphasises its Australian roots in new corporate rebranding campaign

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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BHP Billiton will drop part of its name in Australia
BHP Billiton will drop part of its name in Australia (Source: BHP Billiton)

BHP Billiton has launched a corporate rebranding campaign as part of a move to play up its Australian heritage while distancing itself from the 2001 merger with UK-listed Billiton.

The mining giant will drop the "Billiton" from its marketing materials, business cards and letterheads in Australia, moving towards a "brand Australians have known us by for generations - BHP", the company's chief external affairs officer, Geoff Healy, said.

The campaign will be launched globally in a "phased" approach, but BHP gave no timeline for the changes. The rebrand does not apply to the company's registered name so it did not require a shareholder vote.

The decision is reportedly 18 months in the making and cost BHP $8m (£6m).

Australia's BHP merged with London's Billiton in 2001 to create one of the world's largest mining conglomerates.

The drop in commodity prices hit the firm's former Billiton mines the hardest. When chief executive Andrew Mackenzie took the top job in 2013, he whittled away many of those assets, including the aluminium, manganese and nickel operations, into a separate listed company called South32.

BHP is now coming under pressure from activist investor Elliott Advisors to unify its dual listing structure, spin off its US oil arm and revise its capital return policy to unlock billions in shareholder value.

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