Barclays supports Bumi board in run-up to boardroom battle

ANALYSTS from Barclays yesterday spoke out in support of the Bumi board strategy, just two weeks before the boardroom battle that will decide the coal miner’s future.

Having spoken to chief executive Nick von Schirnding, Barclays said in a note that “the strategy being pursued by the current board and company is the right one”, reiterating its “overweight” rating on the stock.

It added: “However, we believe that their exit out of the Bakrie relationship, which is less confrontational, is potentially achievable and far less costly for the minority shareholders.”

Bumi, which is working on accelerating the divorce from Indonesian shareholders the Bakrie family, will be pitted against co-founder Nat Rothschild on 21 February.

Rothschild – who is proposing a total board overhaul – suffered a setback earlier this week when the Institutional Shareholders Services group announced that investors should vote against his proposal for a new board.

However, it is understood to include several caveats, including recommending the removal of Nalin Rathod, as well as Bumi chief financial officer Scott Merrillees and Alexander Ramlie, as directors of the coal miner.