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Bumi Resources Directors Resign as Bakries Plan London Exit

PT Bumi Resources, Indonesia’s biggest coal exporter, said 10 directors resigned as the company’s largest shareholder works to disconnect itself from the Bakrie Group and PT Bumi.

Bumi Plc Chairman Samin Tan quit as president commissioner of Jakarta-based Bumi Resources, according to a March 6 statement. Alexander Ramlie, Scott Merrillees, Kenneth Allan and Edison Mawikere were among other board members to resign, it said.

Bumi Plc, founded by Nathaniel Rothschild and the Bakrie family, is pushing ahead with the separation plan after last month defeating an attempt by Rothschild to take control of Bumi Plc’s board. The Bakries have proposed exchanging their 23.8 percent of Bumi Plc for 29.2 percent of Bumi Resources in a cash and share swap deal, leaving Bumi Plc in control of PT Berau Coal Energy.

“It appears the separation of Bumi Resources/Bakrie from Bumi Plc/Berau is progressing,” Riaz Hyder an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd., said by e-mail. That “should ultimately be beneficial for both groups focusing on their respective coal assets.”

The resignations are consistent with Bumi Plc’s goal of separating from the Bakrie Group and Bumi Resources, for which it’s seeking shareholder approval “as soon as possible,” it said today in a statement.

Corporate Governance

Veronica Tampubolon, Eva Tarigan, Nenie Afwani, John Slack and Stefan White also quit, Bumi Resources said in the statement.

Former Bumi Plc director Rosan Roeslani resigned as president director of PT Berau Coal Energy, which is 85 percent controlled by Bumi Plc, the company said today. He will be replaced in the role by Eko Santoso Budianto, it said.

The change is “an important step in Bumi Plc’s strategy of further strengthening internal financial controls and corporate governance standards throughout the Group’s Indonesian operations,” Bumi Plc said

The company is aiming to make progress on the Bakrie separation in a few weeks, Chief Executive Officer Nick Von Schirnding said in Jakarta yesterday. The company and the Bakries are starting a sales and purchase agreement, he said.

“Restructuring of the board is on the way,” Von Schirnding told reporters. “We have commissioned an independent search firm to find a new independent chairman.” The company has received a $50 million deposit from the Bakrie Group as part of the deal.

Rothschild Criticizes Move

Rothschild today criticized the appointments at PT Berau.

“It is absolutely extraordinary that Nick Von Schirnding, who is supposed to be an operating CEO, has chosen not to join the board of commissioners or directors of Berau,” he said in e-mailed comments.

Tan also resigned from PT Berau, Indonesia’s fifth-largest coal miner. Kenneth Allan and Eva Tarigan, who both resigned from PT Bumi, were appointed as commissioners at Berau Coal. They are also both directors at PT Borneo Lumbung Energi and Metal which last year bought a 23.8 percent stake in Bumi Plc from the Bakries for $1 billion.

That deal was the forerunner to Samin Tan joining the board of the London-listed company as chairman. He was President Director of Borneo at the time of the transaction.

He also resigned this week as president director of PT Bumi Resources Minerals. Kenneth Allan also quit as director of Bumi Minerals, the unit said in a statement yesterday.

The London-listed company advanced 7.1 percent to close at 347 pence.

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