Bumi plc backs up Berau, leaves none in BUMI

Raras Cahyafitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, March 08 2013, 11:34 AM

London listed Bumi plc is preparing for management changes and funding assistance for its Jakarta-listed subsidiary PT Berau Coal Energy, while at the same time seeing its representatives leaving another subsidiary PT Bumi Resources (BUMI) in a separation move.

Bumi plc chief executive officer Nick Von Schirnding, who attended Berau’s extraordinary general meeting of shareholders in Jakarta on Thursday, said that his company would continue improving Berau after the London firm executes a separation plan with Indonesian shareholder Bakrie Group.

“We want to continue improving and upgrading efficiency at Berau. We want to continue making further management changes,” Von Schirnding said.

Bumi plc is working on a separation plan with its 23.8 percent indirect shareholder Bakrie Group. Under the plan, politically wired Bakrie Group will take over Bumi plc’s entire 29.2 percent stake in Bumi Resources in a share swap and cash transaction worth US$278 million.

Von Schirnding said that Bumi plc would consider options for the usage of the money — including as Berau’s capital expenditure, to reduce the level of debt or support organic growth — after its separation proposal is approved in the next shareholders meeting in London.

Bumi plc will need a 75 percent vote from shareholders to pass the Bakrie Group’s proposal. Von Schirnding said that he saw no issue concerning the vote, including blocking for the passage of the proposal from Bakrie Group’s rival Nathaniel Rothschild, Bumi plc co-founder, who holds a 14.8 percent stake.

“He [Rothschild] is a big shareholder now. He has supported the separation from day one. We should get that vote through,” Von Schirnding said.

Rothschild has suffered from a blow recently as he failed to secure enough votes to replace most of Bumi plc’s current directors with new names, including Indonesian tycoon Hashim Djojohadikusumo, who is also the brother of Gerindra party chief patron Prabowo Subianto — a former military commander of the country’s special forces.

Berau, which is 84.7 percent owned by Bumi plc and the remaining amount by the public, obtained on Thursday approval from shareholders about changes in its board of directors and commissioners.

Berau appointed Eko Santoso Budianto as new president director, replacing Rosan Roeslani. The meeting also accepted the resignation of one of the other directors, John Joseph Ramos.

In the commissioners line up, four of eight people left, namely the owner of Jakarta listed PT Borneo Lumbung Energi & Metal, Samin Tan, Borneo president director Alexander Ramlie, Mochamad Djatmiko, who is one of Borneo’s commissioners, and Stefan White, who is serving as a director in Berau’s sister company PT Bumi Resources.

The four people are replaced by three new names, including former army chief of staff Subagyo Hadi

Despite Borneo’s owner and president director leaving from the board of commissioners, Borneo will replace the two vacant positions in Berau with its own people, Kenneth Raymond Allan and Eva Novita Tarigan, who are directors at Borneo. Borneo currently holds an indirect 23.8 percent stake in Bumi plc.

At the same time on Thursday, Bumi Resources and its listed subsidiary PT Bumi Resources Minerals (BRMS) informed the bourse that it would see an exodus of its commissioners and directors.

Bumi resources said that seven commissioners — including president commissioner Samin Tan and three directors would step down. BRMS said that it has received resignation letters from its president director Samin Tan and another two directors, Kenneth Raymond Allan and Hardianto.

“This is part of the preparation for the separation of Bumi plc and the Bakrie Group,” Samin said, when he was contacted on Thursday.

Samin is also planning to step down from his position as a chairman in Bumi plc but will remain in the company as a representative of major shareholders. Von Schirnding said that Bumi plc has moved to seek a new independent chairman.



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