Rothschild resigns from Barrick board to prepare for Bumi role

FINANCIER Nat Rothschild has resigned from the board of Canadian miner Barrick Gold, ahead of a showdown with the Bumi board next month that could see him reinstated at the head of the troubled coal miner.

Earlier this week Bumi agreed to a February general meeting to discuss Rothschild’s plan for a board overhaul. He is seeking the removal of 12 out of the 14 current directors, including new chief executive Nick Von Schirnding and senior independent director Sir Julian Horn-Smith.

In their place, he has nominated a fresh board, which includes himself as executive director. Rothschild is now canvassing opinion from Bumi investors for his proposal.

Bumi shareholder Sofaer Capital yesterday came out in favour of his plans, following Schroders head of equities Richard Buxton’s declaration of support earlier this week. Sofaer owns more than one per cent of the FTSE 250 coal miner’s shares.

Rothschild, who is also a board member of Tony Hayward’s Genel Energy, has been on the main board of Barrick since 2010. Barrick said in a statement that Rothschild’s departure was due to “other time commitments”. It is thought he wants to commit fully to restructuring Bumi.