BHP's Divestment Campaign Continues To Gather Pace
BHP Billiton has announced the sale of a copper mine and rail asset in the American state of Arizona as its divestment campaign continues to gather pace. The sale of the Pinto Valley mine and an associated rail asset has yielded $AU632 million ($US650 million) for BHP. The company has been trying to free up cask by offloading as many non-core assets as possible in recent months.
Capstone Mining bought Pinto Valley; the Canadian miner has base metal assets in both North and South America. Peter Beaven, BHP’s Copper President said the sale was part of a year-long divestment campaign, which has already raised in excess of $US5 billion for the company.
Assets sold to date include BHP's diamond assets in Canada, a stake in a mineral sands project in South Africa and a uranium deposit in Western Australia.
In the coming months it is also expected that BHP will sell yet more of its assets, as its nickel, manganese and aluminium assets are on shaky ground. It is also thought that the Australian powerhouse will be selling some of its peripheral oil and gas assets such as the Zamzama operation in Pakistan.
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Shareholders could be the winners out of divestments like these, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Peter O'Connor predicting that the cash freed-up by divestments like these were the best chance of BHP delivering a special dividend this year.
Pressure is rising on resources companies to offer good dividend flows this year after Woodside Petroleum treated its shareholders to a special dividend last week.
Rio Tinto is also in the closing stages of a year-long process to offload one of its diamond assets in Canada.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.