Tan agrees deal to up his stake in Bumi to 47pc

City A.M. Reporter
INDONESIAN coal tycoon Samin Tan yesterday agreed a $223m (£147.1m) deal to lift his stake in Bumi to over 47 per cent, buying out the Bakrie family in the first part of a deal aimed at ending the family’s involvement in the troubled London-listed coal miner.

Bumi was co-founded by financier Nat Rothschild and Indonesia’s influential Bakrie family.

But Bumi and the Bakries have been seeking to part ways after two years of boardroom battles and a probe into financial irregularities.

Tan, Bumi’s outgoing chairman, is buying the Bakries’ 23.8 per cent stake through Indonesia’s Borneo Lumbung Energy & Metal Tbk in a deal which will take Borneo’s stake in Bumi to 47.6 per cent, it said in a statement to the Indonesia Stock Exchange yesterday.

Bumi, one of the world’s largest thermal coal exporters, had on Wednesday announced a new separation plan with the Bakries which involved Tan buying the family’s stake.

The second part of the latest plan involves the Bakrie family buying Bumi’s stake in Jakarta-listed Bumi Resources for over $500m in cash, a deal which Bumi said the two are discussing.

Tan’s purchase of the stake is conditional upon the second part of the deal taking place plus the approval of that deal by Bumi’s independent shareholders and a waiver of UK takeover rules that require an investor to make an offer for all shares in a company if its stake rises over 30 per cent.

Borneo, which is struggling with its $1bn of debt and is seeking to reduce it having breached some loan agreements that are now being renegotiated, said the deal would benefit its finances by averaging down its acquisition cost of Bumi shares.

Tan’s involvement in Bumi dates from 2011 when he pulled the Bakries out of a debt crunch, investing part of a $1 billion loan from Standard Chartered to buy a stake in Bumi, only to see the investment plunge.