(Adds spokesman’s comments in second paragraph.)
Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Bumi Plc’s shareholder Bakrie Group may reconsider a bid to replace the coal producer’s management, including billionaire Nathaniel Rothschild, should its independent directors offer a solution that “makes sense.”
“We are talking to Nat and have been advised that the independent directors will deliver a solution to us in Jakarta next week,” Chris Fong, a spokesman to the Bakrie Group, said in an e-mail from London today. “If it’s a solution that makes sense then we won’t resist.”
Bumi, listed in London by Rothschild, said on Feb. 3 that shareholder Borneo Bumi Energi & Metal Ltd. called a meeting to seek the removal of co-Chairman Rothschild and Chief Executive Officer Ari Hudaya. Rothschild said last month that relations with Chairman Indra Bakrie had improved after he previously criticized Bakrie’s coal company, PT Bumi Resources. Bumi owns 29 percent of Jakarta-based Bumi Resources, Asia’s biggest exporter of thermal coal.
Borneo Bumi Energi is seeking to appoint Bakrie and Samin Tan as chairmen of Bumi. Tan is president director of PT Borneo Lumbung Energi & Metal, which bought a stake in Bumi last month. The company also proposed to oust fellow founder James Campbell, a former Anglo American Plc executive, Chief Financial Officer Andrew Beckham and directors Badung Tariono and Amir Sambodo. Tan didn’t return a call to his mobile phone and hasn’t replied to a text message seeking comments.
“We want a Board that is 100 percent focused on the asset,” Fong said. “The independent director’s role is very important and we have the highest respect for them and the UK governance standards they protect.”
Fong also said circumstances have been changing since the general meeting was called, and the Bakrie group was unaware that Rothschild had resigned from another board to focus more on Bumi.
Bumi shares have fallen 15 percent since news of the meeting broke. The shares rose 1.2 percent in London yesterday. Bumi Resources declined 3 percent in Jakarta yesterday.
Bakrie Group and Borneo Lumbung jointly own a 47.6 percent stake in Bumi Plc, according to PT Bakrie & Brothers.
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