Diversified commodities giant BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT) is saying goodbye to businesses worth an estimated US$16 billion, it said today in its full-year financial results release. The company will be spinning off the businesses, most of which it acquired in its 2001 merger with Billiton, into an as-yet-unnamed company that will be listed in Australia, with a secondary listing in South Africa. Graham Kerr, currently CFO at BHP, will be its CEO. Analysts estimate that it could be worth $15 to $17 billion. Included in the new venture will be BHP's aluminum and manganese businesses, along with its Australian metallurgical coal assets and South African thermal coal operations; they'll be joined by individual assets such as the Colombia-based Cerro Matoso nickel project and Cannington zinc-lead-silver mine. Nickel West, the company's Australian nickel division, will not be included as the company hopes to sell it separately. Commenting on the breakdown, Andrew Mackenzie, BHP's chief executive, said the assets "will be more valuable in a purpose-built, independent company than they would be in BHP Billiton," as per the Financial Times. Analysts seem similarly optimistic — for one, CSLA's David Radclyffe told Reuters, "[i]t's probably a better asset mix than we thought it would be beforehand. BHP has added Cerro Matoso, which is a better nickel asset than its Nickel West division, and Illawara Coal." For its part, BHP will now be focused on the "four pillars" of iron ore, copper, coal and petroleum, with potash being a potential fifth pillar. Mackenzie believes that as a result the company's cash flow and return on investment will be stronger. The Wall Street Journal also quotes him as saying that BHP will make "no attempt to retain control" of the spin off, nor will it take an equity stake in it.