Rothschild in Bakrie shares sale drama

Kasmira Jefford
Follow Kasmira
FINANCIER Nat Rothschild faces further uncertainty over the Bakrie family’s stake in Bumi, the London-listed mining company he created, as the troubled Indonesian shareholder looks to repay or restructure its debt.

The Bakrie family, which owns a 47 per cent stake, could be forced to sell a significant stake in Bumi, after shares fell below 850p last week, triggering a margin call on a $1.34bn loan secured against its holding.

Mining giant Glencore is understood to be one of a number of potential investors interested in swooping should the Bakrie family choose to sell part of its £900m stake in the Indonesian coal mining company.

City A.M. sources said that one arrangement could be for the Bakrie family to sell down its stake to around 29 per cent, which would then equal the total number of voting shares it owns in Bumi.

Analysts have noted that Glencore is an obvious suitor given its existing five per cent stake in PT Bumi, a related company, as well as a marketing deal.

It is understood, however, that the Bakrie group, which is currently in discussions with its lender Credit Suisse, is not keen on selling its shares.

The pending decision adds further uncertainty for investors in Bumi, as the Bakrie family could place the shares, creating a stock overhang and causing the company'’ share price – which has halved since April to 737.50p – to fall further.

The value of Rothschild’s 10 per cent stake has also halved.