Nat Rothschild launches a late $1.2bn bid to grab miner Bumi

Billionaire prepares offer as he turns up the heat against his rivals the Bakries

The billionaire banking scion Nat Rothschild is launching what may be a last-ditch bid to rescue his standing in the City of London by forming a consortium to bid for mining firm Bumi against his rivals the Bakrie family.

The soap opera at Bumi, which was brought to the London Stock Exchange by Mr Rothschild with the backing of one of Indonesia's most powerful families, has led to one of the more spectacular stock market rows of recent times.

Bumi shares have crashed and the fallout between the banker and his Indonesian backers has been vicious. The shares were down 90 per cent at one point.

The Bakries had planned to quit Bumi and dismantle the company by buying back the stakes it has in its two main coal mine assets, Bumi Resources and Berau Coal Energy.

News of a counter-offer by Mr Rothschild, pictured, sent the stock up nearly 14 per cent to 283p, though still markedly down on the £10 float price.

Mr Rothschild is appointing Morgan Stanley to advise him on a plan to lead a $1.2bn (£744m) proposal for the assets. He has linked with one of the Indonesian presidential candidates, Prabowo Subianto, to thwart the Bakries' $1.4bn plans to buy out Bumi.

He also held discussions with Hashim Djojohadikusumo, Prabowo's brother, a player in agriculture and tin mining. He is also chairman of the Indonesian chess federation.

Mr Rothschild quit the board as a non-executive director after the Bakries made their offer to buy out the company, saying it would not be in the interests of shareholders to accept the deal. He said at the time: "It will be a disgrace to proceed with, or even to entertain the proposal."

Mr Rothschild, who founded Bumi with the Bakrie family in 2010, has held talks with potential new investors. The plan, if it succeeds, would remove the Bakries, chairman Samin Tan and PT Recapital Asset Management as Bumi investors.

Some in the City feel Mr Rothschild needs this deal to go his way or else he may find it harder to raise money in the future. One analyst said: "Fleet Street would miss Rothschild. I suspect the City might not."

The buyout plan by the Bakries involves swapping their Bumi Plc shares for part of the 29 per cent of Bumi Resources held by the London-listed company, then buying the rest of the stake for cash, before buying Bumi Plc's 85 per cent stake in Berau.

Richard Knights, an analyst at Liberum Capital, told Bloomberg: "Anything that he puts forward would have to be better or more concrete in terms of financing than the existing offer from the Bakries."

Osborne's friend: Man in the spotlight

Nat Rothschild, son of Lord Rothschild and school friend of the Chancellor, George Osborne, helped bring the Indonesian Bakrie family and their coal mining assets to the London Stock Exchange.

His expertise in emerging markets and the Rothschild name attracted investors en masse and the company initially hoped to rank among blue chip FTSE 100 stocks.

However, shares in Bumi have slumped, reflecting the falling price of coal, and Mr Rothschild has spectacularly fallen out with co-owners the Bakrie family. Ousted as co-chairman in March, he stepped down from Bumi's board in October expressing his "great regret" over the episode.

He is now talking to Prabowo Subianto, a former general who was once married to the daughter of the late Indonesian dictator Suharto.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
ESPN footage showed a split-screen Murray’s partner Kim Sears and Berdych’s partner Ester Satorova 'sporting' their jewellery
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee