TROUBLED coal miner Bumi’s chief executive Nick von Schirnding told the firm’s annual meeting yesterday that they “were faced with a mess at every level” but said that real progress has been made in turning the company around.
Bumi, which has been embroiled in a tug-of-war between its founder Nat Rothschild and the Bakrie family, is looking to separate after years of disputes and a probe into financial irregularities.
Von Schirnding said that the firm expects to “shortly announce” a separation deal, having struck an agreement with the former chief executive of its Berau subsidiary Rosan Roeslani to recover the majority of unexplained funds.
Roeslani has agreed to transfer cash and assets to the agreed value of $173m (£113m), in exchange for Bumi agreeing to drop legal claims.
“Whatever funds Roeslani does not return today should be reflected in the price of the separation deal,” said Nat Rothschild in a statement.
Britain’s regulators and prosecutors “need to be all over this situation, bringing those responsible to justice”, he added.
Additionally, the Bakrie group announced that they have the full $278m (£181m) of funding to proceed with the separation, which von Schirnding called “a positive development”.
Bumi’s shares were suspended from trading in April after it missed the deadline to produce its financial results. Von Schirnding said that Bumi has put new controls in place and is in talks with the regulator to resume trading as soon as possible.
Bumi announced earlier yesterday that it is on track to reach its 2013 production target of 23m tonnes of coal.