Bumi reaches agreement on terms of split from Bakrie family

LONDON (REUTERS) - Bumi has agreed to a deal that will allow Indonesia's Bakrie Group to unwind its interest in the London-listed coal miner in exchange for Bumi's stake in Asia's biggest thermal coal exporter, Bumi Resources.

Under the deal, the Bakrie Group will cancel its indirect 23.8 per cent stake in Bumi in exchange for the 10.3 per cent owned by Bumi in Bumi Resources.

Bumi will also sell the remaining 18.9 per cent stake it holds in Bumi Resources to the Bakrie Group for US$278 million (S$343 million).

The Bakries joined financier Nat Rothschild in 2010 to bring its Indonesian coal assets to the London market by merging them with Vallar, Mr Rothschild's listed investment vehicle, and renaming it Bumi.

But the share price has plunged since then. Falling coal prices, an investigation into allegations of financial wrongdoing and the shareholder battles added to the company's woes.

The Bakries said last year they planned to unwind their interests in the company, taking back the assets they and partners brought to Bumi.

Meanwhile, Mr Rothschild wants to remove at least 12 of the company's 14 directors and bring in a new board.

Shareholders are due to vote on Mr Rothschild's proposals at a special meeting in London on Feb 21.

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