BHP Favors Expansion Over Deals

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BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, may not be keen to make a big acquisition after being scorned in some recently attempted deals, but the company said it will spend $80 billion to expand its own assets, including coal and iron ore mines and oilfields.

After reporting a 71.5% jump in its fiscal first-half profits on Wednesday morning Australia time, BHP (BHP) also said it will increase its share repurchase plan to $10 billion and boost its dividend 10% to 46 cents a share.

In the past four years, BHP has seen its attempt to acquire rival Rio Tinto (RIO), the world's third-largest mining company, fall due to the global financial crisis while a bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT), the world's largest fertilizer maker, was scrapped after Canada's government refused to allow the deal to proceed.

BHP was also forced to scuttle a major iron ore joint venture with Rio last year due to anti-competition concerns. The company has also been rumored to be interested in acquiring Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum (APC) and Australia's Woodside Petroleum.

Mining takeovers reached the second-highest value on record last year, worth $144.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.