Bakries to Pay $50 Million Deposit in Bumi Separation Agreement

The Bakrie Group agreed to pay a $50 million deposit by Feb. 15 under an accord that sets out the terms of its separation from Bumi Plc, the London-traded Indonesian coal venture at the center of a battle for control.

The deposit payment “incentivizes the Bakrie Group to secure the necessary cash to complete the deal” that will see Bumi split from the Bakries and PT Bumi Resources, Bumi Chief Executive Officer Nick von Schirnding said yesterday in a statement.

The Bakries propose exchanging their 23.8 percent stake in Bumi Plc for 10.3 percent of Bumi Resources owned by the London-listed venture. The plan also calls for Bumi Plc to sell to the Bakrie Group the remaining 18.9 percent of its Bumi Resources stake for $278 million in cash, the statement shows.

The Bakries will be required to place the funds in escrow within five business days of signing a final agreement on the transaction, which needs the approval of Bumi Plc shareholders.

U.K. financier Nathaniel Rothschild, who founded Bumi with the Bakries in 2010, has accused management and Chairman Samin Tan of failing investors. He called a Feb. 21 vote to try to replace its independent directors and install a new chairman and CEO, while also pursuing a separation from the Bakries.

The creation of Bumi in 2010 bundled the assets of two coal companies in a $3 billion deal. A boardroom feud and financial probes in the U.K. and Indonesia have since prompted the Bakries and Rothschild to seek to unwind their collaboration.

“A $50 million deposit is equivalent to 13 pence per Plc share,” Rothschild said in a statement responding to Bumi. “Since we launched our EGM, the stock has risen from 265 pence to 404 pence.”

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