Route One founder speaks out in support of Bumi board

IN THE run-up to the board showdown with Nat Rothschild on 21 February, Bumi shareholder and hedge fund Route One spoke out in support of the board yesterday, with founder Ashish Pant telling City A.M. that the coal miner’s proposal for the future of the firm was the “lower-risk option”.

US-based Route One, which was reported to the UK Takeover Panel by Bumi co-founder Rothschild at the weekend for allegedly breaching concert party rules, holds a 2.8 per cent stake in the London-listed miner.

Last month, the Takeover Panel ruled that Indonesian shareholders the Bakries and Rosan Roeslani should be considered as a concert party, and so must have their voting power reduced to 29.9 per cent.

But in a statement last weekend, NR Investments said that the concert party should be widened. “Both Orchard Capital [another stakeholder] and Route One are invested in or affiliated with companies that have exposure to the Bakries’ margin loans,” it said.

Two small Bumi shareholders – Michael Platt of BlueCrest Capital Management and Lord David Alliance – spoke out in support of the financier’s proposals yesterday, which involve overhauling the current board.