Indonesian investor sells stake in Bumi plc

Indonesian investor Rosan Roeslani has agreed to sell his 10 per cent stake in coal miner Bumi plc just days before an extraordinary meeting to determine the future of the troubled company.

Indonesian investor Rosan Roeslani has agreed to sell his 10 per cent stake in coal miner Bumi plc just days before an extraordinary meeting to determine the future of the troubled company.

Roeslani landed himself in hot water after it emerged he was part of a 'concert party' with the Bakrie Group and Sami Tan, another Indonesian investor.

The UK watchdog the Takeover Panel ruled in December that together they owned nearly 58% of the voting power of Bumi plc. They were told they had to cut back to under 30%.

Their voting power at Thursday's meeting has consquently been capped at 29.9%. Shareholders will vote on co-founder Nathaniel Rothschild's proposal to replace 12 of the 14 directors on the board.

Bumi plc has advised shareholders against the vote, as it will have an impact on plans to separate itself from the Bakrie Group and Bumi Resources.

The company was formed in 2010 by Rothschild and Indonesia's influential Bakrie family by bundling together coal assets. Through Rothchild's investment vehicle, Vallar, they renamed it Bumi plc.

However, company infighting and an investigation into financial wrongdoing has seen Rothschild and the Bakries unwind their interests in the company.

Bakrie Group has put forth a deal to cancel its indirect 23.8% stake in exchange for Bumi plc's 10.3% holding in Asia's biggest thermal coal exporter Bumi Resources.

Bumi Plc would also sell the remaining 18.9% interest it holds in Bumi Resources to the Bakrie Group for $278m.

However, the Bakries warned they would withdraw the offer if shareholders vote for Rothschild's proposal to rid members of the board.

Roeslani's Recapital Group announced on Monday that it had sold its shares, worth just over £90m, to fund managers Avenue Luxembourg and Argyle Street Management along with Indonesia's politically wired Tanoesoedibjo family.

It means about 13% of the voting rights in Bumi plc are available.

Britain's regulators did not consider the buyers to be acting together with the Bakrie family or the seller so there are no restrictions on their voting power at Thursday's meeting.

RD

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