LONDON – Indonesia's powerful Bakrie family have proposed a divorce with London coal miner Bumi Plc, the group they co-founded with financier Nat Rothschild, offering to take back the Indonesian assets they brought in less than two years ago.
News on Thursday of the proposed split, which would leave the London firm without operating assets, comes after months of tumbling prices and shareholder tension, and just weeks after Bumi Plc announced a probe into potential wrongdoing at its Indonesian operations, including PT Bumi Resources, the jewel in the Bakrie crown.
Bumi said in a statement that the Bakrie Group had offered to cancel their indirect stake in the London-listed group, around 23.8 percent. In exchange, they would get 10.3 percent of PT Bumi Resources, out of a stake of just over 29 percent currently held by the London firm. The Bakries would then buy the remaining 18.9 percent of shares for cash, before Christmas 2012, the statement said.
The Bakries have also made a conditional proposal to buy out Bumi Plc's 84.7 percent stake in PT Berau Coal Energy within the next six months.
Bumi Plc said in a statement it was considering the proposals. There were no details on financing arrangements.
(Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques; editing by Sarah Young)