When
you are looking at Paul Anderson’s BHP payout, it is worthwhile
remembering that he isn’t the only one who did well during his tenure.
He shared the wealth around.

Biggest winners of all were of
course the Billiton shareholders. A look through this year’s books
would reveal that the Billiton assets have not, and never will
contribute anything near the % of the joint company that the Billiton
shareholders received. As nice as $19 looks for BHPB shareholders, it
would have been much better for the BHP owners not to be sharing all
their iron ore, copper and coal revenue with the interlopers.

Next
on the list must be Mitsubishi, who were gifted a huge slice of BHP’s
Central Queensland coal mines. According to Ando, coal was a dirty 20th
century thing and BHP were best out of it. Plus, the market wanted him
to do deals, and do deals he would. Mitsubishi paid about $900 million
for their increased share, and they are already well in the money. This
year they should earn at least $900 mill from CQ – a 100% annual
return. What a great investment. Incidentally there was a near mutiny
within BHP over that deal, which was done at the top level with little
consultation.

Now add back the market caps of Onesteel and
Bluescope vs the realised value, and it starts to get scary. At least
Paul was well compensated.

Don’t you have a “value given up” list going somewhere?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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