Mick Davis, Xstrata’s former boss, has offered to acquire No. 1 miner BHP Billiton plc’s non-core assets for $15 billion through his new X2 Resources in a deal that includes an $8 billion loan, according to a report in South Africa’s Sunday Times.
Davis has been negotiating the loan via JPMorgan for BHP’s thermal coal division and is also eyeing its aluminum, nickel and manganese operations amid a demerger sale, gifted to shareholders, the paper’s website reported. The purchase would unwind the Anglo-Australian titan’s 2001 merger with Billiton.
The South African-born Davis is himself an ex-Billiton finance director who has already raised $3.7 billion from investors for X2; last year, the 56-year-old led Xstrata until its merger with Glencore. The new fund would be co-headed by former Xstrata Chief Financial Officer Trevor Reid.
X2 Resources, which operates as a mid-sized diversified miner, has up to $3.75 billion to further plans to evolve into a new conglomerate. Backers are comprised of private TPG Capital, a private equities group, commodities trader Noble Group, and three sovereign wealth and pension fund investors.
Melbourne-based BHP officials announced this month they are considering simplification of their iron ore, copper and coal business segments following a campaign of global asset sales beginning in 2012. BHP operations outside core commodities are worth up to $10.7 billion, according to analysts.