Rothschild in coal search

 
David Hellier
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VALLAR, the London-listed cash shell founded by financier Nat Rothschild, is looking at potential opportunities to bulk up its coal assets as it seeks to become a major force on the FTSE 100.

Rothschild was unable to comment to CityA.M. last night but sources close to the group said that it would not dismiss suggestions that it was considering the possibility of acquiring coal assets worth more than £500m in the US and/or Australia that would complement the newly structured group's Indonesian coal assets.

Later this month Vallar will become a vehicle for Indonesia's Bakrie and Roeslani families who want to list their interests in London. As part of the restructuring, Vallar will be renamed Bumi and Rothschild will be joined on the share register by some of Indonesia's most powerful families and institutions. Vallar shareholders will own a stake of around 32 per cent in the enlarged group.

Sources said last night that the Bumi deal would hopefully be completed later this month.

Some have argued that Rothschild is taking a big gamble in becoming a minority shareholder in a far larger group but others have admired his courage and boldness.