Bumi confirms Nat Rothschild has offered alternative to break

COAL miner Bumi yesterday confirmed it had received a letter from co-founder Nat Rothschild proposing an alternative to the Bakries’ $1.4bn (£877m) plan to dismantle the London-listed miner.

Last month, following an investigation into alleged financial irregularities at Indonesian arm PT Bumi, the Bakrie family proposed selling its stake in London-listed Bumi and taking back the coal assets it brought in two years ago.

Bumi said yesterday that it had hired investment bank Rothschild Group to evaluate the proposal put forward by Nat Rothschild’s vehicle NR Investments, as well as considering the Bakries’ plan.

The Bumi board will also consider the proposals, although the FTSE 250 miner stressed that it would wait until the legal investigation into the irregularities by law firm Macfarlanes was “appropriately advanced” before making any recommendations.

It is understood that Rothschild has been speaking to Indonesian investors with regards to the proposals, but no further detail has been made available due to confidentiality agreements.

It is thought that the proposal from Rothschild was a letter detailing possible alternatives to the Bakrie plan rather than a formal offer, although an offer could follow on going forward.

In a separate statement, Bumi said that it had reclassified PT Bumi as an investment, as “recent developments” meant it was “no longer appropriate” for Bumi to account for its shareholding as an associate company.