PT Bumi Resources and Bumi plc advance ahead of shareholder meeting

PT Bumi Resources rose to the highest in more than four months in Jakarta trading after it requested a takeover panel to expedite inquiry into the creation of parent coal company Bumi plc.

PT Bumi Resources rose to the highest in more than four months in Jakarta trading after it requested a takeover panel to expedite inquiry into the creation of parent coal company Bumi plc.

Shares in Asia's biggest thermal coal exporter soared as high as 16.67% Thursday, the highest since September 21st.

Bumi Resources has been under the microscope after Bumi plc launched an investigation over alleged financial irregularities.

The investigation sparked a dispute between major Bumi plc shareholder Bakrie Group and company co-founder Nathaniel Rothschild.

"Shareholder votes at Bumi have been massively distorted to the disadvantage of Indonesian shareholders. And the Panel was kept in the dark about key facts at the time of creation of Bumi Plc," said Nirwan Bakrie, the Chairman of Bakrie Group, in a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

However, the market has showed rising optimism over a February 21st shareholder meeting of Bumi Plc to resolve an ownership dispute between Rothschild and the Bakries.

Shareholders will vote on a proposal to replace the current board including its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Rothschild has recommended removing at least 12 of the company's 14 directors and bring in a new board.

Rothschild and Indonesia's influential Bakrie family formed Bumi plc in 2010 by bundling together the assets of two coal companies - a 29% stake in Bumi Resources and an 85%stake in PT Berau Coal Energy. The Indonesian coal assets from the Bakries were merged with Rothchild's investment vehicle, Vallar, and renamed Bumi plc.

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

In a heads of terms agreement, the Bakries proposed swapping its 23.8% stake in Bumi Plc for 10.3% of Bumi Resources.

The agreement will also see Bumi Plc its remaining 18.9% of its Bumi Resources stake for $278m in cash.

The Bakries have agreed a $50m deposit for its exit plan from Bumi plc.

Bumi plc climbed 10% in London trading after announcing the deal.

However, the Bakries have threatened to withdraw the proposal and maintain its presence in Bumi plc if Rothschild's plan is passed at the shareholder meeting next week.

"Any changes to the board of Bumi plc voids the term agreement that we signed in London this week and we will immediately commence legal action if our relationship agreement isn't honored," Bakrie Group Senior Vice President Christopher Fong told the Jakarta Post.

Bumi plc's board has also urged shareholders against the proposal as it goes against its plans to separate from the Bakrie Group and Bumi Resources.

RD

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