Bumi Says Roeslani Claims He Doesn’t Owe Company Funds

Bumi Plc, owed $173 million in cash and assets by former director Rosan Roeslani, said the Indonesian coal executive is now claiming he has no obligation to meet the terms of a June agreement to return missing funds.

“Roeslani has now raised a number of issues as to the nature of his obligations, as a result of which he denies that he is in breach of those obligations and asserts that any outstanding liability to transfer any cash or assets under the Roeslani Agreement has been extinguished,” Bumi said late yesterday in a document to shareholders.

Bumi disclosed last month that Roeslani had missed a Sept. 26 deadline for an initial repayment of $30 million in cash. Chief Executive Officer Nick von Schirnding said then that Bumi would pursue arbitration against Roeslani, the former head of its PT Berau Coal Energy unit.

“The deed is now the subject of arbitration and I have been advised not to comment,” Roeslani said today in an e-mailed reply to questions.

Yesterday’s circular to shareholders was sent to Bumi investors before a Dec. 17 vote on a proposed $501 million transaction designed to cut Bumi’s ties with Indonesia’s Bakrie family who, along with British financier Nathaniel Rothschild, founded the group in 2011.

Bumi “strongly disputes Mr. Roeslani’s contentions and will be seeking to resolve the issues as speedily as practicable,” it said yesterday. His interpretation of the accord “reinforces the fact that there can be no guarantee that any assets or cash will in fact be transferred to Berau or another member of the Bumi group under the agreement,” Bumi said.

The June Roeslani Agreement required the former executive to transfer stakes in two related companies and pay the remainder of the cash balance.

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