TROUBLED miner Bumi yesterday took the next step in its separation from the Bakrie Group by agreeing to sell its stake in Jakarta-listed Bumi Resources to the Indonesian conglomerate for $501m (£329m).
The FTSE 250-listed firm, which has been embroiled in an arduous tug-of-war between its founder Nat Rothschild and the Bakrie family, said that “a substantial proportion” of the proceeds from the Bumi Resources divestment would be returned to shareholders.
In a second part of the deal, a subsidiary of the Bakrie Group will sell its stake in Bumi to outgoing chairman Samin Tan.
The sale would leave Tan with a 47 per cent stake in Bumi, which Rothschild objected to in a statement yesterday.
Meanwhile the first stage of Rothschild’s lawsuit against the company and his one-time partners began in London yesterday.
Rothschild argued in a petition that Bumi was run in a way that hurt, or “unfairly prejudiced” small investors. A claim of “unfair prejudice” is a key legal remedy under UK law available to investors left unable to block decisions.
Rothschild asked a court to scrap “relationship agreements” between the company and the Bakries, and to remove outgoing chairman Samin Tan and Alex Ramlie from the board.
A spokesman for Bumi said the court proceedings were “an unnecessary distraction and serve no useful purpose”.