Investor backs Bumi as battle reaches climax

BUMI yesterday inched closer towards defeating Nat Rothschild at the long-awaited boardroom battle tomorrow, as institutional share-holder Standard Life Investments spoke out in favour of the board.

Standard Life Investments, which owns 2.17 per cent of the share capital of Bumi, said it would vote against co-founder Rothschild’s board proposals at the meeting.

He has proposed removing 12 out of the 14 current directors.

Head of equities and executive director of Standard Life Investments David Cumming said that the “restructured Bumi board has the best prospects of exiting the Bakrie relationship and maximising long term value for the remaining share-holders”.

However, Cumming said there were caveats with the support. “We have made clear to Bumi the importance we attach to the successful restructuring of its board and the strengthening of its executive team,” he said yesterday.

“These are pre requisites for restoring confidence and delivering the returns shareholders expect.”

Rothschild responded: “We both agree that this board and the existing management team needs to be restructured.”

Almost all institutional shareholders have now spoken out in support of either Rothschild or Bumi in the run-up to tomorrow’s meeting, with the exception of Abu Dhabi Investment Council, which has around a four per cent stake.

Earlier this week, Indonesian share-holder Rosan Roeslani sold off his 13 per cent voting stake in the miner.