Another twist in Bumi tale

BUMI PLC has received the “near-final version” report into the independent investigation of allegations concerning potential financial and other irregularities at its Indonesian operations.
Another twist in Bumi tale Another twist in Bumi tale Another twist in Bumi tale Another twist in Bumi tale Another twist in Bumi tale

Courtesy of Bumi Plc.

Staff Reporter

Special attention was paid to PT Bumi Resources, in which Bumi PLC has a 29% interest.

However, the Bakrie Group, which has a proposal in play to buy that 29% stake in PT Bumi Resources – as well as Bumi PLC’s 85% stake in Berau Coal – complained that some of the information used in the investigation was accessed by illegal email hacking.

Bumi PLC has conducted a technical examination that found some of the information was obtained illegally by email hacking.

It says it is “considering with its advisors further issues raised by the provenance of the material passed to it and the bearing these matters may have on the courses of action available to the company”

Bumi PLC’s audit committee has considered, among other things, whether any further asset writedowns will be required.

It believes these are not likely to be material given the extensive writedowns already made in respect to certain development assets that were the focus of the Macfarlanes investigation.

Bumi PLC warns there will be a significant year-end accounting adjustment made to reflect the impairment of the carrying value of Berau Coal due to lower coal prices and the reclassification of the company’s 29% stake in Bumi Resources from an associate to an investment, which will be marketed to market.

That adjustment is unrelated to the Macfarlanes report.

There are two bids on the table for Bumi PLC’s Indonesian coal assets.

One is valued at $1.4 billion and comes from the Bakrie Group. The other is from Bumi PLC founder – and scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty – Nat Rothschild.

The Rothschild bid has reportedly drawn the support of mining entrepreneur Robert Friedland.

However, the Rothschild proposal requires shareholders PT Borneo Lumbung and Bukit Mutiara to sell their shares. Both have told Bumi PLC that they will not sell on the terms of the Rothschild proposal.

Bumi PLC also told the market that it had never been its intention to sell its stake in Berau – Indonesia’s fourth-largest coal producer – on the terms offered by the Bakrie Group.

Its chief executive officer Nalin Rathod has announced he will step down on December 31. He will take up a non-executive director’s role from that point.

Nick von Schirnding will take the CEO’s role.

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