BHP announces $10.4 billion windfall for shareholders

BHP will pay out a massive US$10.4 billion to its shareholders through a special dividend and share buyback, after completing the sale of its remaining onshore US shale oil and gas assets.

The world’s biggest mining company announced this week that it had finalised the sale of its Fayetteville gas assets to BP for around $300 million, completing the $10.4 billion divestment.

“We made a commitment that all the net proceeds from the disposal of our onshore US assets would be returned to shareholders and we are honouring that commitment now that the sale transactions have been completed,” said BHP’s chief executive Andrew Mackenzie.

“Returning this $10.4 billion will bring the total cash returned to shareholders to $21 billion over the last two years.”

The company plans to split the return to shareholders evenly between an off-market buyback at up to a 14% discount and a special full-franked dividend payable in January 2019.

For BP, the deal represents the oil major’s largest acquisition in two decades, and will add 190,000 barrels of oil per day to its production line.