Bumi removes Rothschild from chairman’s role

INDONESIAN coal miner Bumi yesterday tried to draw a line under a damaging spat between former chairman Nat Rothschild and investors whose credentials on corporate governance he publicly questioned.

In line with announcements made last month, coal entrepreneur Samin Tan, who became a major investor alongside the Bakrie family last year, has become chairman.

Tense relations between Rothschild and the Bakrie camp reached a low point in November after a letter from Rothschild demanding a “radical cleaning up” was leaked.

The incendiary letter caused uproar with the Bakries, who were furious at the way the issue was publicly aired.

Tan said yesterday: “In my opening statement in the meeting after I was installed as chairman, [I said that] like it or not, we knew there were politics previously – so I urged and called for everyone to put that [aside].

“From now let’s just look ahead, work ahead and move ahead... I hope that from now on you won’t see anymore arguments, especially in the public domain.”

Rothschild, who was co-chairman until Monday’s shake-up, will stay on the board as a non-executive. Separately Bumi reported a pre-tax loss of $115m (£71.9m) for 2011. It was hit by $286m of one-off accounting writedowns.

Bumi said it was on track to hit its 2012 production targets. Tan and the Bakrie family together own 29.9 per cent of voting rights in Bumi.