Rothschild enters the fray with equity issue proposal for Arms

Caitlin Morrison
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Nat Rothschild may grow his stake in Arms
Financier Nat Rothschild may increase his stake in troubled mining firm Asia Resource Minerals (Arms).

The Indonesian company announced yesterday that Rothschild had indicated his interest in underwriting an equity issue for the firm.

At the start of this month, Samin Tan lost his status as controlling shareholder in Arms, with half of his 47.6 per cent stake in the company transferring to Raiffeisen Bank International.

The firm subsequently announced that “recent shareholder developments” had “changed the potential options available to the company for refinancing”. Arms needs to refinance $450m (£288m) in debt by July 2015.

Rothschild was a co-founder of Arms, which was previously known as Bumi, along with Indonesia’s Bakrie family.

However, his relationship with the family was difficult, and he quit the board of Bumi in 2012 in protest at a deal proposed by its key Indonesian shareholders to split from the firm. At the time, Rothschild said the value of the deal was skewed heavily towards both Tan and the Bakrie brothers.

Earlier this year, when that deal completed, Rothschild and a member of the Bakrie family became involved in a heated argument on Twitter.

Rothschild declined to comment on yesterday’s announcement, while Arms said it would update the market “in due course”. It is believed the company’s board will discuss the proposal today.

Shares in Arms went up by 4.4 per cent yesterday.

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