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South32 directors stock kiss fishing rip off bhp billiton not kosher plan
Business Law

South32 directors stock kiss fishing rip off bhp billiton not kosher plan

In the labyrinthine world of finance and stock markets, it is not uncommon for corporate maneuvers to trigger heated debates and controversy. One such contentious action has recently put South32, the global mining and metals company, in the eye of the storm. The company’s board of directors has been accused of employing a questionable strategy known as ‘kiss fishing’ with their stock, which some critics are arguing is a disingenuous attempt to undervalue and eventually take over the larger mining conglomerate BHP Billiton. Detractors argue this strategy is far from a ‘kosher’, or legitimate and acceptable, plan.

South32 and BHP Billiton: A Quick Overview

South32, split from BHP Billiton in 2015, has been performing admirably in the global mining market, its reach extending across multiple continents and commodities. Meanwhile, BHP Billiton, one of the world’s largest mining companies, has been struggling with a number of challenges, notably environmental liabilities and sagging market interest.

The Controversial ‘Kiss Fishing’ Strategy

The South32 directors are accused of using a ‘kiss fishing’ strategy, a somewhat obscure maneuver in the world of finance. This involves a company intentionally undervaluing its stock to attract potential investors or suitors, only to later increase the stock’s value once those investors have committed. Critics claim that South32’s directors have intentionally let their stock prices drop in order to make their company more attractive to BHP Billiton for a merger or acquisition.

Implications of the Alleged Strategy

If true, this means that South32 could potentially use this low stock price to leverage a buyout or merger with BHP Billiton, effectively ‘ripping off’ the larger company and its shareholders. It’s a complex game of chess, with South32 seemingly making itself an attractive prospect for a merger while also positioning itself for a potential takeover of the bigger player.

The Kosher Debate

Detractors argue that such a strategy is far from kosher – a term borrowed from Jewish dietary laws meaning ‘fit’ or ‘proper’, and used colloquially to denote something as legitimate or acceptable. Critics suggest that this tactic goes against the principles of transparent, honest business practice, claiming that it manipulates the market and potentially harms both companies’ shareholders.

Defending the Strategy

However, supporters of South32’s directors argue that the ‘kiss fishing’ strategy is a legitimate business maneuver. They claim that it’s a savvy way for a company to position itself favorably in the competitive global mining market. They also argue that any potential merger or acquisition would need to pass through rigorous regulatory approvals, ensuring all actions are within the law.


As this debate rages on, one thing is clear: the corporate world is not always black and white. Whether the alleged ‘kiss fishing’ strategy is a shrewd business move or a dubious plot, it has certainly thrust South32 into the spotlight and ignited a discussion about ethical business practices. It serves as a stark reminder of the complexity and intrigue that often lie behind the dry numbers and charts of the financial world.

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