Bakries threaten to backtrack on offer to exit Bumi amid dispute

  • @BawdenTom

The Bakrie family has threatened to withdraw an offer to exit the London-listed miner Bumi by buying back some of their Indonesian coal assets as their dispute with Nat Rothschild deepens.

In response, Mr Rothschild raised his stake in Bumi, taking his number of voting shares in the forthcoming shareholder meeting from 14.98 per cent to 18.21 per cent. His spokesman said: “The general meeting we have requisitioned cannot come soon enough, and we look forward to working with a new board.”

The Indonesian family’s exit lies at the heart of the group’s restructuring plan. The brothers’ threat was in response to last week’s proposal by Mr Rothschild to throw out 12 of Bumi’s 14 board members and choose their replacements, which would include himself as an executive director.

Mr Rothschild stepped down as a non-executive director of the Bumi board last autumn after being ousted as co-chairman earlier in the year, in one of many disputes between him and the miner’s other senior executives and major shareholders.

The Bakries co-founded Bumi in November 2010 by reversing some of their Indonesian coal assets into Mr Rothschild’s London-listed cash shell. They indicated that they will use “all legal means” to enforce part of the original deal that allows them to nominate key Bumi positions, including the chief executive.