BHP looking to sell assets

BHP Billiton is looking to sell around 10 assets in order to simplify its portfolio and reduce debt.

In a statement to Reuters BHP said the move was part of its long term strategy, and it was focused on finding the best value for money.

“Consistent with our commitment to simplify the portfolio, we continue to selectively pursue asset divestment opportunities, with a firm focus on value,” it said.

The statement follows reports BHP's chief financial officer Graham Kerr told analysts in a closed-door briefing the company was looking at selling at least 10 assets.

The company has not specified which projects it's looking to sell, but told those at the meeting oil and gas assets were the easiest to move.

Over the past few months BHP has reduced the contractor workforce across some BMA mines and earlier this month it said it was looking to sell the closed Gregory-Crinum mine.

Yesterday Deutsche Bank analysts said the new management team at BHP would be keen to clear out non-core assets to reduce debt, and could be eyeing asset sales of around $US25 billion.

Deutsche said both Rio and BHP had previously failed to sell off assets, particularly during price rallies for aluminium and nickel, and the companies were expected to move much quicker on sales this time around.

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