Bumi CFO Merrillees to Resign After Berau Review Delays Results

Bumi Plc, the coal company that has been at the center of a dispute between co-founders Nathaniel Rothschild and Indonesia’s Bakrie family, said Chief Financial Officer Scott Merrillees will resign in June.

The company has started a search to replace him, Bumi said today in a statement. Merrillees, who is based in Indonesia, will remain CFO of the company’s PT Berau Coal Energy unit, the Asian country’s fifth-largest coal producer.

Bumi said last week it had been unable to verify some spending at Berau and its management decided there was “not sufficient evidence to support the capitalization of certain expenditures” estimated at about $56 million last year.

Management at Jakarta-based Berau had also been unable to fully verify about $38 million in land payments, Bumi said. The transactions are under review and a provision will be taken once this is complete. The review will likely further delay results that were pushed back to April 24.

Chief Executive Officer Nick von Schirnding said the resignation is “consistent with our commitment to restructure” the board, according to the statement. The company has said it is seeking a new chairman to replace Samin Tan.

Merrillees will step down on June 26, the date of Bumi’s annual general meeting, the company said.

Rothschild, who last week called for Merrillees to step down from his role, today in an e-mailed statement said he should also resign as CFO at Berau.

Bumi gained 3.4 percent to 257.9 pence by the close in London. The stock dropped 69 percent last year. The company owns 85 percent of Berau and 29 percent of PT Bumi Resources.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.