BHP bows to activists with new plans to exit shale, delay potash

BHP Billiton Ltd. bowed to activist investors seeking a streamlining of its business by unveiling plans to sell its U.S. shale assets — acquired in a $20 billion deals spree in 2011 — and delaying a multi-billion dollar investment in a Canadian potash project.

The retreat from shale and potash comes after incoming Chairman Ken MacKenzie, who officially starts his job next month, held meetings in recent weeks with investors in Australia, the U.S. and the U.K. and after public concerns...

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