BHP announces $14.7 billion shareholder pay out

BHP will pay out a massive AUS$14.7 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 $418 million, completing a $14.8 billion divestment plan.

“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 US$10.4 billion will bring the total cash returned to shareholders to $21 billion [AUS$29.7 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.

BHP shares were up by over 4.5% to AUS$34.01 on the ASX in the wake of the news.