Activists target Bumi's annual meeting today

Tom Bawden
Thursday 14 June 2012 00:30 BST

Bumi is set to face an alliance of activist shareholders at its annual meeting today who are calling for the Indonesian coal mining giant to be ousted from the London Stock Exchange on concerns about its corporate governance.

Andrew Hickman, a campaigner at Down to Earth, said: "Given the record of the constituent parts of what is now Bumi, we are saying that it should not be listed on the London Stock Exchange."

Bumi was created in 2011, when Nat Rothschild reversed two Jakarta-based companies into the London-listed cash shell. The bulk of Bumi shares are owned by Samin Tan, an Indonesian businessman, the Bakrie family and Mr Rothschild, who stepped down as co-chairman in March after a fallout with Mr Tan and the Bakrie brothers over the running of the company.

The activists say that six years after allegations that the Bakrie family's subsidiary PT Lapindo Brantas caused a mud volcano in East Java, which left 14 people dead, many victims have not received compensation.

A spokesman for the Bakrie family denies that Lapindo Brantas' drilling activity caused the disaster. "The claim is baseless and is clearly an uninformed view of the facts. The company was cleared of any wrongdoing and has been transparent in its commitment in providing financial support to more than 40,000 residents that totals more than $750m," he said. "The commitment made by the Bakrie family is in no way an admission of guilt in relation to the drilling activities of Lapindo Brantas who were drilling for gas at the location of the mud eruption. The company was subsequently cleared by the Indonesian courts and industry regulator of wrongdoing," he added.

Nick von Schirnding, head of Bumi's communications department, said: "We have not had sight of these allegations, which appear to be unfounded or not connected with our businesses. We are highly sensitive to the environment in which we operate and our environmental reclamation programmes are a critical part of our licence to operate … We always seek to act responsibly towards local communities and the environment by seeking to roll out international standards of best practice."

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