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BHP and Billiton To Merge

March 18, 2001

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Australian mining giant BHP Ltd said Monday it will combine with Britain’s Billiton Plc to form the world’s second largest metals company.

The deal creates a global resources company worth $28 billion and an estimated $20 billion in annual sales. The new company will be called BHP Billiton and will be based in Melbourne.

London-based Billiton would control 42 percent of the combined entity, while BHP would control 58 percent.

BHP, a minerals, energy and steel company, also said it plans to spin out its entire steel flat products business having similarly spun off its OneSteel business as a separately listed company last year.

The new company will be listed on the London and Australian stock exchanges with second listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and an American Depository Receipt listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

BHP boss Paul Anderson will be chief executive officer of the new company

BHP is one of Australia’s biggest companies and the world’s largest nongovernment producer of copper and one of the world’s largest iron ore and coking coal miners. It also produces steel and diamonds and has an oil and gas division.

For BHP, the merger with Billiton gives it exposure to some metals it doesn’t produce, including aluminum, nickel and thermal coal.

Billiton is the world’s top producer of chrome and manganese ores and alloys. It is also among the world’s largest aluminum and nickel producers.

Billiton is a spinoff of South African mining company Gencor. It owns a 50 percent stake in Richards Bay Minerals, the world’s largest producer of titanium minerals. Its Ingwe Coal subsidiary makes Billiton the world’s leading steam coal exporter and it also produces copper and steel.

Billiton operates primarily in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mozambique, South Africa, and Suriname. It is expanding its nickel operations in Australia and has acquired Canadian mining company Rio Algom.

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On the Net:

BHP: http://www.bhp.com.au

Billiton: http://www.billiton.com

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