Bumi sizing up new Bakrie deal

Marion Dakers
BUMI’S Indonesian co-founders want to change the terms of their divorce from the London-listed mining group, which could see them sell their stake to chairman Samin Tan.

In a move opposed by fellow co-founder Nat Rothschild, Tan has offered to buy out the Bakrie family.

Bumi confirmed yesterday that Tan has expressed an interest in buying the 23.8 per cent share holding, taking his stake in the group to 47.6 per cent.

The new deal would require the Takeover Panel to permit Tan to hold a stake of more than 30 per cent without becoming obliged to make a full takeover offer.

But Bumi said the “economic terms remain consistent” with last October’s divorce deal.

The firm had previously agreed to sever ties with the Indonesian operations, named Bumi Resources, by selling them to the Bakries in exchange for cash and cancelling their Bumi PLC shares.

Rothschild, who holds 14.8 per cent, yesterday criticised Tan’s offer, saying he “would be in control of a company for which he has not made a takeover offer for minority shareholders”.

He called instead for existing investors to get first refusal on the Bakrie family’s shares.

A source close to the company said that if the new deal went ahead, it was likely that most of the $500m cash proceeds would be returned to investors.