Truce declared in row over control of Bumi PLC after talks in London


LONDON–Two men who waged a battle for boardroom control of UK-listed coal miner Bumi PLC have called a truce after talks in London at the weekend, with both agreeing to sit together as directors of the company, the Financial Times said. Bumi, which controls major mines in Indonesia, is being fought over by co-chairman Nathaniel Rothschild, the scion of Europe’s most storied banking dynasty, and a group of Indonesian investors represented by shareholder Samin Tan. Under the deal, Rothschild would step down as co-chairman and become an ordinary director, with Tan joining the board, the newspaper said, quoting an unidentified source.

“They agreed they wanted harmonious relations,” the source was quoted as saying. The question of who would replace Rothschild as co-chairman was not decided and would be discussed later, the report said. Tan is aligned with Indonesia’s Bakrie Group. Together they own 29.9 percent of voting rights in the firm and wanted to remove Rothschild as well as other directors from the board, and to install Tan as chairman. Tensions between the two sides rose late last year as the Bakries believed Rothschild was trying to take over the firm on the cheap after it nearly defaulted on a US$1.3 billion loan, while Rothschild called for a “radical cleaning up” of the miner and its debts in a letter leaked to media in November.